Bluecurrent, Spark Reach Milestone of 1M IoT Connections in New Zealand – The Fast Mode

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Spark announced a milestone of one million Spark IoT connections for Bluecurrent’s (formerly Vector Metering) smart electricity meter network. 

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

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. It also means it can provide energy distributors with data insights to optimise network investments and better support their customers during outages.

Bluecurrent has upgraded 70 percent of its electricity meter fleet so far to use modems on Spark’s CAT-M1 IoT Network. The CAT-M1 network technology allows for an easy 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.

In October, Spark IoT announced it 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, gas, electricity and water meters and more.

Neil Williams, Bluecurrent Chief Executive

The roll-out 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. 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 road map. 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.

Michele Wong, Spark IoT Lead

We’re thrilled to support Bluecurrent on this exciting milestone. This important mahi is 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.


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