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Bluecurrent & Spark achieve 1 million IoT connections in New Zealand
Tue, 5th Dec 2023

Bluecurrent and Spark have achieved impressive success with the Internet of Things (IoT) in New Zealand, announcing their one millionth Spark IoT connection for Bluecurrent's smart electricity meter network. This milestone furthers the usage of Spark's CAT-M1 IoT network, a 4G network variant, with Bluecurrent (formerly Vector Metering), augmenting efficiency and encouraging innovation opportunities in the realm of electricity and gas consumption for Bluecurrent's customers.

The upgrade to CAT-M1 IoT connectivity allows for more adaptable meter data collection. As a result, Bluecurrent provides enhanced support to its energy customers by offering tailored products and solutions that cater directly to consumer needs. The innovation also aids electricity distributors with critical data insights that can be utilised to improve network investments and provide more efficient customer support during power outages.

Bluecurrent's Chief Executive, Neil Williams, stated, "The roll-out of one million 4G modems on our smart meter fleet achieves efficiency gains and enables future-readiness through customer-focused solutions, data analysis, and real-time access to energy usage information powered by IoT connectivity."

He added that this implementation facilitates real-time monitoring, which enables quicker identification and mitigation of faults and outages, thus leading to operational efficiency and cost-saving benefits across the board.

Williams further asserted that the adoption of this platform not only extends the lifespan of Bluecurrent's metering hardware but also provides certainty over their long-term communication technology roadmap. "By integrating IoT, Spark gives us the ability to innovate for the future needs of New Zealand, as we transition to a low carbon economy," he continued.

Michele Wong, Spark's IoT Lead, further explained IoT's role as a business enabler. "IoT and other high-tech solutions naturally help businesses to become more productive and sustainable through technology," she said.

Wong expressed their delight in supporting Bluecurrent in reaching this milestone, going on to say that "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."

She emphasised the vast potential of IoT across multiple sectors in New Zealand, stating it "can cater to such a wide range of business cases, turning data into real insights that make a tangible difference to business outcomes."

In addition to this milestone, Spark IoT also announced in October that it surpassed 1.5 million IoT connections and had revitalised its Innovation Studio, displaying 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, among others.

As New Zealand's largest telecommunications and digital services company, Spark's purpose is to help all of New Zealand win big in a digital world. Spark provides mobile, broadband, and digital services to millions of New Zealanders and thousands of New Zealand businesses. Complementing Spark, Bluecurrent is an expert smart meter services business owned by Vector and QIC, which provides data and innovative services from more than two million electricity and gas meters throughout New Zealand and Australia.