Vodafone and Spark both announce IoT networks for New Zealand

Vodafone and Spark both announce IoT networks for New Zealand

Telecommunications companies Vodafone and Spark have both announced that they will soon roll out IoT networks in New Zealand.

Following initial tests in September last year, Vodafone NZ said it will deploy a narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network in the country early next year. The company will trial the technology with several business customers during late 2017, with plans to roll out the full network in early 2018.

The low-power, low-cost benefits of NB-IoT are expected to support the connection of millions of devices to the internet in the next few years.

Network competition in New Zealand

In a similar vein, Spark said it has partnered with low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) start-up Actility and New Zealand’s state-owned broadcast and telecommunications company Kordia to build a separate network based on the LoRa standard.

A “significant proportion” of the network is expected to be operational by June 2018, according to Spark general manager Michael Stribling, who claimed that the move indicates the company’s desire to “take a leadership position in IoT.”

“We already have a lot of capabilities needed to make the most of a more connected world – we have the world-class network, we have the platforms, and we have the big data analytics power of [local analytics vendor] Qrious to make sense of the torrent of information that will be created from networks of sensors connecting the things around us,” Stribling told ZDNet. Kordia has already begun work on the network design, he added.

Spark is already involved in Connected Farms trials with Farmland, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Ballance Agri-Nutrients and various hardware partners in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s north island.

This pilot began in April with 40 farms in the Matamata-Piako region and 20 farms to in the South Island and is delivering connectivity to farms through an on-farm Wi-Fi mesh network connected to the Internet via Spark’s 4G network and a low-power wide area network based on LoRaWAN technology, according to IoTHub.

Spark also said it is planning to deploy IoT networks in New Zealand based on LTE-M1 and NB-IoT standards to meet varying data needs.

Read more: Sigfox partners with WND-UK to extend IoT network coverage ‘to 95 percent of UK’

Momentum for IoT down under

IoT looks to be steadily gaining momentum down under. Graeme Muller, CEO of the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech) and chair of the New Zealand IoT Alliance, recently suggested that the application of IoT to dairy farming alone could be worth NZ$ 448 million (US$ 327 million) to the economy.

A report released last week by the New Zealand IoT Alliance corroborates this, and adds that New Zealand could reap NZ$ 2.2 billion (US$ 1.6 billion) in economic benefits from IoT over the next ten years if it can address connectivity barriers.

The picture is similar in close-by neighbor Australia, where both IoT network announcements follow the news announced in May that Thinxtra, an IoT specialist that operates the Sigfox IoT network in Australia and New Zealand, will build a dedicated IoT network in Tasmania that will cover 95 percent of the island before the end of 2017.

The company is also providing the connectivity for a new IoT-based security product from ATF Services, a company that specializes in protecting construction sites from theft and vandalism, with products including temporary fencing and video surveillance. More about both announcements here.

Read more: Discovery Ag and NNNCo create rural IoT network for Australia’s farmers

The post Vodafone and Spark both announce IoT networks for New Zealand appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

How Businesses And Customers Both Win With The Internet Of Things

Twenty-one billion. That’s how many connected devices Gartner estimates will exist by 2020.

While smartphones and tablets have been connected to the Internet for years, new IoT-enabled devices are entering the market each and every day. Products as diverse as watches, thermostats, and even articles of clothing contain sensors that transmit data regarding the use of those items to interested parties, be it the consumer or the manufacturer.

This technology is transforming how businesses operate and how buyers engage with companies. And in a world where it’s increasingly important for organizations to put consumers at the forefront of their operations, IoT is proving to be mutually beneficial for both businesses and customers.

The business benefits of IoT-enabled devices

The single most alluring aspect of IoT-enabled devices is the connectivity they provide. The sensors installed in these products allow people, products, and businesses to be connected around the clock.

This quality is invaluable for organizations, particularly those in supply chain. But merely manufacturing IoT-enabled devices is not enough. Companies must be able to harness massive volumes of data and leverage that information to gain real-time customer insight.

While more than 70% of companies believe that IoT analytics capabilities are critical to their success, according to a recent Forrester Consulting research report, many businesses find this challenging. More and more, organizations must adopt innovative analytics solutions or partner with specialized analytics firms to ensure they’re getting the most out of their data.

Once organizations possess the ability to turn the data at their disposal into timely, relevant insight, the sky’s the limit. With real-time data collection and analysis capabilities in place, businesses can:

  • Accelerate decision making: By becoming more data-driven, executives can make better, more informed business decisions – instead of relying on pure instinct. With greater visibility into buyer behavior and other patterns and trends, companies can react in the moment to meet constantly shifting customer demands and other critical business imperatives.
  • Improve existing products and innovate new ones: Enhanced data access through IoT-enabled devices can help businesses to continually modify their products. It can also help companies to better predict what buyers may want next and enable them to innovate ahead of demand. These capabilities can drive business growth and potentially create new revenue streams for organizations.
  • Achieve operational excellence: Business is all about efficiency. Products need to be designed, manufactured, and delivered in the quickest, most cost-effective manner possible. Through enhanced IoT data access and analysis, businesses can operate their supply chains more intelligently, streamlining and even automating processes to enhance product design, manufacturing, delivery, inventory management, and other important business areas.

Leading supply chain organizations are already investing billions of dollars in IoT technology and IoT analytics capabilities – and with good reason. Forrester says that firms being proactive in this area are two to three times more likely to boost revenue and market share.

Customers receive added value thanks to IoT

Businesses aren’t the only ones benefiting from the constant connectivity afforded by IoT. Buyers are also reaping the benefits. Specifically, they’re receiving improved products and services as well as superior customer experiences.

Today’s consumers are more demanding than ever. They crave quick, effortless, and personalized service. Data generated from IoT-enabled devices can help organizations deliver on all three counts.

Customers who use smart products benefit from:

  • Greater personalization: IoT-enabled devices provide businesses with the data they need to tailor experiences according to an individual customer’s behavior. A smart thermostat, for example, “learns” how warm or cool a person likes his or her home, and it eventually programs itself based on the buyer’s preferences.
  • Fewer customer service issues: Since IoT-enabled devices create around-the-clock connectivity between customers and manufacturers, companies are able to constantly monitor the condition of their products. Most importantly, they can detect – and potentially fix – issues early, before customers begin experiencing even bigger problems.

With IoT, everybody wins!

With insights gleaned from IoT and supporting analytics, companies can create a sizable competitive advantage. Organizations can use this data to improve their products and internal operations, enabling them to provide superior customer experiences.

Simply put, with IoT, everybody wins!

Learn more about what your organization can achieve with an award-winning, cloud-based, IoT-enabled platform. Read this press release for insight on the recent recognition that the SAP Connected Store received from IoT Evolution magazine and IoT Evolution World.


Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine