Vector Has Teamed Up With Spark To Help Modernise The Way Kiwis’ Energy Is Monitored
Spark has today been named a key connectivity partner for Vector as the energy company moves to modernise the way energy consumption is measured in Kiwi homes and businesses.
The deal will see a significant number of Vector’s New Zealand-based advanced meters connect to Spark’s 4G supported CAT M1 Internet of Things (IoT) network, with the ability to shift on to 5G connectivity as part of a multi-year rollout.
Vector’s, Chief Operating Officer Metering & OnGas, Brenda Talacek, says the move toward IoT connectivity will help modernise the way electricity and gas are metered.
“Advanced meters give electricity and gas consumers greater visibility and control over their energy usage – something that is becoming increasingly important as Kiwis strive to become more energy efficient and keep their energy prices down.
“Vector provides advanced metering solutions to electricity retailers who supply around 1.5 million homes and businesses across New Zealand. We’re eager to explore how shifting to an IoT platform can help optimise our solutions with more real-time data capture, ultimately enabling us to deliver even more value to our customers.”
Spark’s Network and Technology Director, Mark Beder says that although advanced meters have been around for a while, moving to IoT connectivity will help Vector realise the benefits of a truly smart grid.
“It is great to see a major utility company like Vector onboard IoT technology to support their innovation potential. Cellular networks are always evolving – so it’s important for businesses to move with technology by connecting to the latest generation so that they benefit from faster speeds, better responsiveness and added capacity.
“For Vector, the world around them continues to digitally transform and they have been looking for a connectivity platform that will support the ongoing development of their metering business, opening up opportunities for other low carbon technologies such as the smart home applications and digital cities.
“Our CAT M1 IoT network is supported by our 4G cellular network and has the ability to shift on to 5G technology as it becomes available, giving Vector plenty of scope for ongoing product innovation,” he said.
The transition of a large portion of Vector’s advanced meters to Spark’s IoT platform will start within the month and will be an extended programme of work that will roll out over the next few years.
- IoT (Internet of Things) refers to the mass connection of things via cellular networks and the data that is gathered from what is being monitored.
- Spark’s IoT Network is built to support millions of devices. It is well suited for connecting electricity metering via small regular data transmissions. Network coverage is a key consideration for advanced metering rollouts, since meters are generally located inside cabinets or buildings, Spark’s CAT M1 network delivers better range and coverage in traditionally difficult to reach locations.
- Vector’s migration to 4G and 5G connectivity will be progressively rolled out under a multi-vendor arrangement.