Spark announced today that it has completed a nationwide rollout of its Internet of Things (IoT) cellular (Cat-M1) network. Spark is the first company to confirm the nationwide completion of a Cat-M1 network in New Zealand.
The network covers 98% of New Zealand’s population and has been deployed since September on over 96% of Spark’s mobile sites.
This completed network will significantly expand the range of things that businesses across New Zealand can connect to, providing insights and control that may have not been previously possible. The network is specifically designed for low cost, long battery life devices that provide real-time data to businesses allowing them to make smarter decisions.
A wide variety of new and existing IoT solutions and services including electricity, gas and water meters, asset tracking and monitoring, industrial automation and more will now have a reliable IoT network to work over.
Spark’s first customer to use the network is Trans-Tasman smart metering service intelliHUB. The upgrade is welcomed by intelliHUB Group Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Clark who says this is positive news for the energy industry in New Zealand as the majority of smart meters are currently operating on the old 2G phone networks.
“We are using Spark’s new Cat-M1 network to service our current nationwide deployment as we accelerate the installation of 150,000 smart meters to a large portion of Trustpower’s customer base. For us, this is a business first technology rollout and we are very proud to be doing it here in New Zealand, starting in Tauranga for Trustpower with the help of Spark.”
“The increased reach of the network and added reliability were two key factors in selecting Spark’s Cat-M1 network. The other part of our strategy is to expand our service business into other IoT services, in particular the launch of smart gas metering, solar monitoring and demand response applications. It means we can give energy retailers the digital capabilities they need to innovate and it repays their trust in selecting us as a long term partner. Just as we have in Spark.”
Simon Clarke, GM Business Solutions & Technology at Trustpower says “From Trustpower’s perspective, we are pleased that intelliHUB has selected Spark’s Cat-M1 network to underpin IntelliHUB’s service to us.
“It’s still early days, but we think that a smarter IoT communication network will be a key enabler for intelliHUB to provide better services to us and our customers in the future”
Spark’s Digital Services Lead and Executive Council member of New Zealand IoT Alliance, Michael Stribling, says this is exciting news not only for Spark but for New Zealand’s IoT market.
“We know 2019 is going to be a ground-breaking year for tech - as a Digital Services provider Spark has invested in infrastructure to allow New Zealand business to adopt digital technologies fast, giving them the best chance to innovate and succeed in a digital world.
“We’re seeing IoT take off in New Zealand, and with the broader range of solutions Cat-M1 opens we expect to soon be adding more than 2000 new IoT devices a week.”
“We’re keen to work with businesses of all sizes to help them explore IoT and adopt new technology that will give them the data and information they need to make smarter business decisions.
“Businesses who may not have been able to connect to an IoT network before should now be able to – it means more businesses will have access to data that enables us to make better decisions, problem solve and improve productivity.
“On top of being an IoT network and mobile service provider Spark will also expand its suite of IoT services – a move that will see us work with best in class partners to enable start-ups to enterprises to solve problems they face daily.”
Businesses interested in scaling in IoT and exploring what it can do for them should visit business.spark.co.nz/iot-business.
Notes to the editor:
- Download pictures here.
- For a coverage map go to www.spark.co.nz/coverage.
- The Cat-M1 network runs over Spark’s 4G mobile network to provide quality, medium-high bandwidth IoT connectivity and capability.
- The Cat-M1 network allows devices to connect more efficiently, meaning in some cases batteries in IoT devices on the network will last for years, and at lower cost (as the cost of the chipsets used is lower than other connectivity options).
- Other use cases for the completed Cat-M1 network include:
- Smart City infrastructure where you need underground deep penetration
- Tracking for horticulture machinery
- Smart metering
- Video surveillance
- Outpatient monitoring where voice and video features are important
- Smart wearables