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24 November, 2017 - 23:29 By Tony Quested

Cambridge startup wins big in Japan

ZiFiSense Tongyun Li

Cambridge wireless startup ZiFiSense has leveraged the power of its LPWAN technology and its UK-China business model to clinch funding, a major award – and now a significant contract in Japan.

IT Access and QTnet are to provide IoT solutions for agriculture and aquaculture solutions utilising ZiFiSense’s ZETA network in Kyushu Japan.

In a pilot project, sensor information for aquaculture management such as water temperature and water level in the sturgeon fish farm in the mountain area of Shiiba village in Miyazaki prefecture, was successfully collected in the cloud via ZETA LPWAN.

ZETA enables communication over multiple channels by ultra-narrow band.  ZETA offers wide distributed access by mesh network and low power consumption communication in both directions. It is an optimal technology for IoT communication infrastructure.

In addition, since a single ZETA access point (AP) can cover a wide area, remote monitoring can be carried out in real time even in mountainous areas where there is no communication or power infrastructure. It is expected that the burden of aquaculture management of aquaculture companies can be greatly reduced.

In the future, ZiFiSense and IT Access will analyse the data collected from various IoT sensors placed through AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning technologies for providing highly efficient IoT solutions and data analytic services utilising ZETA.

IT Access, as a joint venture between Innotech and ACCESS, develops sales and engineering services for software for various embedded devices (RTOS, middleware) in digital consumer electronics, mobile communications, industrial and OA markets. QTnet is a telecoms carrier of the Kyushu Electric Power Group.

Backed by Fortune Capital and PlugandPlay in Silicon Valley, ZiFiSense was previously shortlisted in the Business Weekly Awards and has already raised $2 million; founded in Cambridge in 2013, the startup has boosted headcount to 35 and annual revenue this year to the $1.5m-$2m range. It has offices in Cambridge and in Shanghai, Xiamen and Chongqing, China.

It was recently named one of three winners in the Cambridge Wireless Discovering Start-Up Competition and at the start of November was invited by the UK government’s Department for International Trade to exhibit at the TC3 summit in Silicon Valley.

ZiFiSense has developed three categories of solutions including smart city, smart lighting and smart community for serving multiple vertical markets. Customers include large corporations such as mobile operators, government, system integrators as well as many SMEs across the globe.

Solutions have been deployed in Shanghai Metropolitan for multiple smart city applications, Donghai Bridge – the world’s third longest cross-sea bridge – for bridge monitoring and several indoor and outdoor lighting infrastructures for smart lighting controls together with projects for real-estate companies such as Soho China and JLL. 

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Tongyun Li from ZiFiSense

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