Spark Switches on New ‘Internet of Things’ Mobile Low Power Network to Power Smart Metering Roll Out

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Spark has switched on its second Internet of Things (IoT) network, LTE Cat-M1, which will help stem the progressive rollout of smart metering with Landis+Gyr, a global leader in smart metering and smart grid solutions.

Sparks new Cat-M1 network runs over Spark’s 4G mobile network to provide quality, low bandwidth IoT connectivity and will deliver a new capability for New Zealand in IoT. Spark is the first operator in New Zealand to make its M1 network commercially available and will progressively rollout the network across the country.

The rollout of Spark’s Cat-M1 IoT Mobile network will connect a wide variety of new and existing IoT solutions and services including wearables, electricity, gas and water meters, smart appliances, asset monitoring, industrial automation and more. Running on Spark’s core 4G network, M1 technology enables lower cost devices, greater breadth and depth of coverage, and near real-time access.

Spark’s Digital Services Lead, Michael Stribling says the rollout is a significant milestone.

“We’re excited to work with Landis+Gyr to roll out their smart metering technology on our network. We’re very focused on delivering the network foundations to allow businesses to use IoT to run their businesses better.

“By accelerating the availability of networks, we’re making IoT real, and we’re seeing huge opportunity for New Zealand businesses and communities to leverage this new technology.”

Landis+Gyr was the first in Australia to develop and demonstrate smart metering over the M1 network, which is being used in their smart meter and communication modules. The company already had smart metering solutions in New Zealand and opted to switch to Spark’s M1 network to take advantage of its broader coverage.

Landis+Gyr’s General Manager of Australia and New Zealand, Rodney Chaplin says rolling out smart metering over the new network will provide a robust solution for customers.

“Landis+Gyr meters fitted with our flexible and modular communication modules are perfectly suited to take advantage of 4G networks with Cat-M1 technology.

“This allows us to get to market quickly and provide utilities with a robust coverage to ensure the success of smart metering rollout.”

Helping New Zealand cities run smarter

Switching on the Cat-M1 network will enable other IoT technologies like smart cities and connected cars from overseas to be adopted here in New Zealand, says Stribling.

“Cat-M1 is a secure, high-quality network, ideal where sensors and devices are transferring data regularly and real-time access to that data is critical.

“We’re working with customers on a broad range of use cases for Cat-M1, driven by its nationwide coverage and high performance. Great examples include vehicle telematics, smart metering, smart health devices and smart cities applications such as lighting and environmental monitoring.”

Councils and asset managers will be able to connect key infrastructure like rubbish bins, roads, water pipes and street lights to the network to monitor their condition and enable better planning and decision making.

“We’re excited about the possibilities of IoT and what it’ll enable New Zealanders to do, and we now have a market-ready service that’ll help bring those possibilities to life.” says Stribling.

Spark’s Network Evolution Lead, Colin Brown agrees that the M1 network will be a game-changer for all New Zealanders. “M1 offers huge potential for businesses, government and cities to work smarter, make better decisions and deliver better outcomes. We’ve invested in this purpose-built network so that our customers can take advantage of these possibilities. We’re confident New Zealand will be well-set for future growth in this technology.”

Notes to the editor

  • Spark has switched on the Connected IoT Mobile network in major centres. The network will be rolled out across the rest of the country over the next six months.
  • LTE Cat-M1 will run on Spark’s core 4G network, covering 95% of the places New Zealanders live, work and play.
  • Alongside Cat-M1, Spark also operates a low-power, long-range IoT network powered by LoRaWANTM technology, which now provides coverage to over 100 sites across the country across all major urban centres. This network is ideally suited for low data rate applications.

About Landis+Gyr

Landis+Gyr is the leading global provider of integrated energy management solutions for the utility sector. Offering one of the broadest portfolios of products and services to address complex industry challenges, the company delivers comprehensive solutions for the foundation of a smarter grid, including smart metering, distribution network sensing and automation tools, load control, analytics and energy storage. Landis+Gyr operates in over 30 countries across five continents. With sales of approximately USD 1.7 billion, the company employs c. 6,000 people with the sole mission of helping the world manage energy better. More information is available at www.landisgyr.com.

Contact

Anaru Tuhi
Corporate Relations Partner
+64 27 417 6298
Anaru.Tuhi@spark.co.nz

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