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Noel Leeming takes IoT mainstream with broadband bundles

Noel Leeming has signed two broadband providers for retail sales as the company looks to get early advantage with the internet of things phenomenon and help customers on their journey.

Both My Republic and Spark broadband bundles will be available through Noel Leeming stores, allowing customers to get connected when they purchase hardware – or to switch from their current provider.

But Tim Edwards, Noel Leeming chief executive, says the hardware won’t just be traditional broadband devices of mobile phones and computers.

Instead, Edwards expects broadband to be increasingly bundled with smart TVs, home security systems and other Wi-Fi enabled devices like WeMo, which allows remote control of lighting, stereos and air conditioning, among other things.

Earlier this year, IDC predicted that the global IoT market is no track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020.

“Devices, connectivity and IT services will make up the majority of the IoT market in 2020 and together, they are estimated to account for over two0thirds of the worldwide IoT market in 2020, with devices (modules/sensors) alone representing 31.8% of the total,” Edwards notes.

Paul Taylor, Noel Leeming telecommunications/connectivity, says while he expects sales tied to traditional computer and mobile device products will be the heart of the offering initially, that is expected to change as time goes by.

“We’re number one in most of the IoT devices, such as smart TVs.

“Wi-Fi enabling of everything makes the traditional new,” he notes. “We think the TV will be the heart of the home going forward, but there will be more opportunities in with wearables, WeMo and other virtual reality offerings, among others.”

‘Compare and save’ on offer

As well as being able to bundle broadband with devices, Noel Leeming is offering customers the chance to ‘compare and save’, with an in-store tablet-based offering which enables customers to check and compare the offerings available from 10 New Zealand internet service providers.

“It can be confusing for people, with ADSL, VDSL and fibre to consider, plus the issue of data usage,” Taylor says.

He says Noel Leeming staff will be able to walk customers through what broadband offerings are best suited for their usage, and how much data they’re likely to need now – and in the future given their particular usage.

Taylor says new devices can put stress on existing internet connections, particularly if the new device will be used for the likes of Netflix streaming.

“We genuinely believe the recommendation we make will be the right one,” Taylor says, adding that the company won’t be pushing customers to change to a My Republic or Spark plan.

“If they happen to be on Vodafone and it turns out that is the right plan for them, then that’s what we will say,” he says. “We will be able to assure them that’s the right product for them.”

The service won’t just be available for customers purchasing a new device and looking to buy a broadband bundle, with Taylor saying customers are welcome to use the ‘compare and save’ tool even if they’re not buying a new device.

“Ultimately, we know they will come back to us in the long term as a customer,” he says, noting that rather than viewing it purely as a means to an immediate sale, the company is looking longer term and believes that providing the best, most useful, service, it will win customers over.

Edwards says the launch of the broadband bundles enables Noel Leeming to offer ‘a complete solution encompassing the three steps of an end-to-end customer experience: firstly the right device; secondly, the right connected solutions – broadband or mobile; and finally an extensive service team who can deliver, unbox, set up, connect and teach customers how to maximise their experience’.

Broadband bundles with My Republic will be available in three stores – Albany, Queen Street and Syliva Park – from today, and will roll out to other stores over the coming weeks.

Spark packages will be available in August.

Taylor says the two providers offer Noel Leeming coverage of around half of New Zealand. Other broadband providers are also expected to be added to the Noel Leeming line-up.