Spark has switched on its second Internet of Things (IoT) network which will run over the provider's 4G mobile network.
The network, LTE Cat-M1 (M1) will provide quality, low bandwidth IoT connectivity and enable the progressive rollout of smart metering by Landis+Gyr, the telco giant said.
Spark's is the first M1 network commercially available in main centres, with a nationwide roll-out planned in coming months, while Landis+Gyr was the first to develop and demonstrate smart metering over the M1 network in Australia.
Spark said the company already had smart metering solutions in New Zealand and opted to switch to M1 to take advantage of its broader coverage.
The M1 mobile network will connect a wide variety of new and existing IoT solutions and services, which will include wearables, smart appliances, electricity, gas and water meters, asset monitoring, industrial automation and more.
"We’re excited to work with Landis+Gyr to roll out their smart metering technology on our network," Spark digital services leader Michael Stribling said. "We’re very focused on delivering the network foundations to allow businesses to use IoT to run their businesses better."
Meanwhile, Landis+Gyr’s general manager of Australia and New Zealand, Rodney Chaplin, said 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 M1 technology," he said. This allows us to get to market quickly and provide utilities with a robust coverage to ensure the success of smart metering rollout."
Switching on the M1 network will enable other IoT technologies like smart cities and connected cars from overseas to be adopted here in New Zealand, added Stribling.
"M1 is a secure, high-quality network, ideal where sensors and devices are transferring data regularly and near real-time access to that data is critical," he said.
Furthermore, councils and asset managers will be able to connect key infrastructure like environmental and air quality monitoring, transport and parking solutions, digital signage and street lights to the network to monitor their condition and enable better planning and decision making.
Alongside M1, Spark also operates a low-power, long-range IoT network powered by LoRaWAN technology, which now provides coverage to over 120 sites across the country across major urban centres - this network is ideally suited for low data rate applications.
M1 uses Spark’s licensed spectrum (700 and 1800MHz bands), while LoRaWAN utilises shared, unlicensed spectrum.