Spark has launched its LoRaWAN low powered wide area network for IoT, saying it will enable a farmer to get hourly updates on the location and body temperature of its cows for $1.79 per month.
Spark initially announcement its LoRaWAN plans in July 2017, and details of coverage plans in December 2017. Earlier this month it named agricultural fluid monitoring service Levno as the first customer and formed a partnership with Levno to expand the network beyond its original planned 20 urban centres.
Spark said there was coverage in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Shannon, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin, and that sites in Hastings and Invercargill would go live in the next few weeks.
Spark’s general manager IoT Solutions, Michael Stribling, said, there were plans for addition partnerships to extend coverage further.
“While we currently have 60 percent of rural and urban New Zealand covered, we’ll be working to extend that to 70 percent by July this year. We’re also looking to partner with organisations to extend coverage into areas where they need it.”
Spark has firm plans for CAT-M1 for IoT on its cellular network and says it continues to monitor use cases for NB-IoT.
It has differentiated LoRaWAN from these saying: “[LoRaWAN] is an affordable IoT option [that] works with a wide range of low-cost sensor technologies that are significantly cheaper on average than sensors for cellular networks.”
Spark said NB Smartcities NZ, a company offering smart city services, would look to use the network for its smart outdoor lighting technology.
“Councils will be able to use the smart lighting technology to manage streetlights remotely, applying bespoke dimming profiles, monitoring maintenance and turning them on or off as needed.
“This will enable them to respond faster to community requests, events and changes in daylight to keep streets safer for people, save power and reduce carbon emissions.”