Press release

Minol-ZENNER Group Makes Investment in IoT Focused Start-up Company TrackNet

Company is joined by Gemtek in investing in Internet of Things (IoT) and Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) to create new possibilities for efficient remote meter reading

Contract signature in Stuttgart

Stuttgart, January 2017 – The Minol-ZENNER Group a world-wide leader in measurement and energy services, is advancing its digitization strategy by investing in Swiss IoT solutions provider TrackNet. This cooperation will create unified transmission standards and full-coverage networks to support efficient and economical remote meter reading and other services. 

LPWAN is expected to make up the volume of connected devices and growth for IoT. The Minol-Zenner Group envisions that LPWAN can accelerate smart meter deployments and reduce network deployment costs while providing more services and information to consumers. Long-range communication, long battery life sensors, and low-cost, in-building home gateways are key to achieving these goals. 

“The Internet of Things offers the housing and utility sectors significant benefits particularly in terms of transparent and timely consumer information. Our new partnership gives us direct access to this innovative technology, enabling us to offer customers concrete and comprehensive solutions at an early stage,” says Alexander Lehmann, Managing Director at Minol-Zenner Group.  

The Minol-Zenner Group is joined in the investment by Gemtek, a leading Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) focusing on wireless broadband solutions. The combined investment by Gemtek and Minol-Zenner Group in the Swiss start-up is $7 million USD. TrackNet also has offices in California and is focusing on providing low power, long range solutions to consumers and industry. 


Complete solutions from a single source

LoRaWAN stands for “Long Range Wide Area Network”, an international open LPWAN standard for wireless communication for battery-powered devices. LPWAN is the corresponding wireless telecommunications network distinguished by a wide transmission range and particularly low energy consumption. TrackNet offers relevant software and hardware including sensors, gateways, network management, and mobile apps.

The Minol-ZENNER Group develops the matching measurement devices and terminals to be hooked into the Internet of Things via wireless modules. Going forward, the group aims to use this open, powerful and energy-efficient transmission standard across a comprehensive portfolio of services. According to Alexander Lehmann, optimised remote meter reading is a concrete prospect: “This cooperation enables us to offer devices, remote reading equipment, data management, software and all requisite services from a single source.”


Future-proof IoT technology

Remote reading of consumption meters, measuring devices and terminals requires a stationary wireless network in which meter data can be sent to gateways from where they are fed into the Internet. The LPWAN network is superior to conventional fixed-line systems in that it combines a substantially higher range with particularly low energy consumption.

As a result, a meter can be run on a commercial battery for several years while at the same time allowing for more frequent, faster and more cost-efficient readings thanks to the high performance of the network. Moreover, LoRaWAN is an open standard which allows other intelligent terminals to be hooked up to the network.

This means that systems can be successively expanded by adding other devices and applications without requiring additional data loggers or repeaters. This means that this transmission standard is optimally suited to meet the needs of housing companies, municipal services, and local utilities.

“The alliance with TrackNet and Gemtek will enable us to expand our digitization strategy and offer our customers future-proof technologies and devices bringing significant gains in terms of comfort, speed and transparency for all parties concerned,” Alexander Lehmann commented.