Spark has switched on a new Internet of Things (IoT) site at Mystery Creek, bringing low power, wide area network coverage (LoRaWAN) connectivity to life for farmers and businesses in the Waikato.
Exhibitors at Fieldays will be able to use the network to connect and showcase new IoT technologies, such as water monitoring sensors, asset trackers and soil moisture readers. Local farmers in the area can also capitalise on the network to connect their farms.
Michael Stribling, Spark's general manager IoT solutions, says the new IoT coverage is a win for the Waikato farming community.
"This is another key milestone for agribusinesses wanting to harness the power of IoT," he says.
"In farming it's critical to manage resources efficiently. Being able to know in real-time whether a water tank is leaking, or whether a gate's been left open, will save farmers time, money and energy."
"We currently have over 60 per cent of the New Zealand population covered with more than 50 live sites and are on track to have 70 per cent coverage by the end of July.
"We are also working with our customers and partners in the rural sector to keep extending our LoRaWAN network into rural New Zealand.
"Spark is already seeing their partners rapidly progress product development and testing of their solutions using Spark's IoT Low Power Network, and they're seeing great results in customer trials."
For tech-savvy Ōhaupō farmer and co-founder of IoT company Knode, Marcus Graham, the new Spark IoT Low Power Network coverage is an exciting development to help better manage operations on his 145ha dairy farm.
"Connecting Knode through Spark's IoT Low Power Network provides another connectivity option and allows me to investigate options for controlling assets on the farm right from my phone."
"Using Spark's IoT Low Power Network to connect to the Knode platform I'm able to monitor water flow, measure tank levels and check for water leaks. The new network will enable the control of things like water valves and pumps right from my pocket.
"Nine times out of 10 I'll get a water leak as I sit down for dinner. Being able to put the pump on snooze until morning will be a game changer."
Anyone wanting to learn more about using IoT to give their farm or business an edge will be able to visit Spark at Fieldays site F56, where a number of smart solutions and agritech experts will be available to talk.