Smart metering co hits one million IoT connections

Spark New Zealand Trading Limited

Wednesday, 06 December, 2023

Smart metering co hits one million IoT connections

New Zealand Internet of Things provider Spark has announced it has achieved a milestone of one million Spark IoT connections for metering company Bluecurrent’s (formerly Vector Metering) smart electricity meter network.

Using Spark’s CAT-M1 IoT network (a 4G network variant), the smart meters provide real-time access to energy usage data to improve operational efficiencies for Bluecurrent’s electricity and gas customers in New Zealand.

CAT-M1 IoT connectivity enables more flexible meter data collection options, which helps Bluecurrent to support its energy customers in providing tailored products and solutions for their own customers.

“The rollout of one million 4G modems to our smart meter fleet so far achieves efficiency gains and enables future-readiness thanks to new customer-centric solutions, data analysis and real-time access to energy usage data powered by IoT connectivity. For example, with real-time monitoring, faults and outages are more easily identified and mitigated, leading to operational efficiency and cost savings across the board,” said Bluecurrent Chief Executive Neil Williams.

“In addition, the new platform has extended the life of our metering hardware while providing us with more certainty over our long-term communication technology roadmap. By integrating IoT, Spark provides us the ability to innovate for the future needs of New Zealanders as we transition to a low carbon economy.”

At this stage, Bluecurrent has upgraded 70% of its electricity meter fleet to use modems on Spark’s CAT-M1 IoT network. This network technology allows for an easier transition to 5G, without the need of a site visit, as Spark’s 5G services are expanded around New Zealand. Bluecurrent also has more than 70,000 advanced gas meters on the CAT-M1 IoT network.

Spark IoT Lead Michele Wong said Spark’s work with Bluecurrent was an example of how high-tech solutions can help solve real-world challenges. “IoT can connect and monitor physical assets and natural environments, which creates insights that people and systems can then act on to improve their business operations. The potential for IoT in New Zealand across multiple sectors is immense — it can cater to such a wide range of business cases, turning data into real insights that make a tangible difference to business outcomes,” she said.

In October, Spark IoT announced it had surpassed 1.5 million IoT connections and refreshed its Innovation Studio, showcasing solutions for various use cases such as construction sites, natural water sources, forests and fire detection, business equipment, pharmacy refrigeration, and gas, electricity and water meters.

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