by Divina Paredes

Spark reports IoT network now covers 98% of New Zealand

Feb 18, 2019
Artificial IntelligenceBig DataCloud Computing

With the broader range of solutions Cat-M1 opens, we expect to soon be adding more than 2000 new IoT devices a week Michael Stribling, Spark NZ

Spark reports that it has completed a nationwide rollout of its Internet of Things (IoT) cellular (Cat-M1) network.

The network covers 98 per cent of New Zealand’s population and has been deployed since September on over 96 per cent of Spark’s mobile sites.

The 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.

Sparksays it is the first company to confirm the nationwide completion of a Cat-M1 network in New Zealand.

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Spark says 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.

The first customer to use the network is Trans-Tasman smart metering service intelliHUB.

Adrian Clark, intelliHUB Group CEO, 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,” says Clark, in a statement.

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“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.”

“From Trustpower’s perspective, we are pleased that intelliHUB has selected Spark’s Cat-M1 network to underpin IntelliHUB’s service to us,” adds Simon Clarke, general manager, solutions and technology at Trustpower.

Simon Clarke

“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”

Michael Stribling, digital services lead for Spark and executive council member of New Zealand IoT Alliance, says this is exciting news not only for Spark but for New Zealand’s IoT market.

“We know 2019 is going to be a groundbreaking year for tech,” says Stribling. “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,” adds Stribling.

“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 startups to enterprises to solve problems they face daily.”