Spark has switched on its second Internet of Things network. The new network uses LTE Cat-M1 technology, effectively a form of 4G mobile, to provide what it calls “quality, low bandwidth IoT connectivity”. The M1 network uses Spark’s 700 and 1800 MHz spectrum and the company’s 4G mobile towers.
The network will be used to connect wearable devices and smart appliances.
One key application will be smart meters for electricity, gas and water. Spark says it will work with meter specialist Landis+Gyr to roll out a network of smart meters. Landis+Gyr says it was the first company to demonstrate smart metering using a similar Cat-M1 network in Australia. The company already operates in New Zealand, but will switch to Spark’s M1 network to use its broader coverage.
Rodney Chaplin, general manager of Landis+Gyr says his company’s technology is well suited to work with the M1 network. “This allows us to get to market quickly and provide utilities with a robust coverage to ensure the success of smart metering rollout,” he says.
Spark says the M1 network means councils and other organisations that manage assets would be able to “connect key infrastructure like environmental and air quality monitoring, transport and parking solutions, digital signage and street lights to the network to monitor their condition and enable better planning and decision making”.