Spark turned on 5G in downtown Auckland today and has partnered with Auckland Transport (AT) to showcase some of the latest in IOT technology.
Spark is giving Aucklanders a glimpse into the future made possible by the Internet of Things (IOT).
The telco has installed smart lights, solar-powered benches with charging ports and parking sensors in Auckland’s downtown Wynyard Quarter and enabled its private 5G network for commercial use.
The network’s coverage spans Britomart, the Viaduct, Commercial Bay and Wynyard Quarter, as well as North Shore’s Takapuna.
Spark technology lead Renee Mateparae said 5G could allow one million devices to be connected per square kilometre on a continual basis, generating data to improve services and amenities for New Zealanders.
* It’s time for Auckland to follow Sydney in becoming a truly 24-hour economy
* Precinct Properties’ profit boosted by Fletcher Construction damages payments
* Kiwi-made driverless car maker Ohmio collaborates with Spark’s 5G innovation lab
“[5G] will help governments, councils and businesses respond quickly, allocate resources wisely and plan for the future,” Mateparae said.
The 5G network, an upgrade to the current 4G communications network, was expected to underpin the widespread deployment of IOT technology with its increased speeds, reliability and low latency.
The smart lighting was installed in the surrounding streets of Wynyard Quarter’s Innovation Precinct, which could generate heat maps of foot traffic to help AT identify any choke points to better inform future infrastructure investments, and monitor air and noise pollution.
Some lights were fitted with 5G connected CCTV which could enable better detection of criminal activity, capturing high-definition video even at night, and could be dimmed and brightened remotely to help reduce energy consumption, Mateparae said.
The solar-powered smart benches had charging ports for smartphones and electric scooters and bikes.
Sensors attached to bins could detect when they were full and could contact the council for service, preventing overflow and reducing the number of rubbish trucks on the road.
Auckland Transport technology solutions group manager Chris Creighton said the installations at Wynyard Quarter were not “just shiny new tech”, but real solutions to existing and impending challenges.
“We’re learning how to use smart infrastructure in a way that works for Auckland, so we can leverage applications as they evolve and become more commonplace,” Crieghton said.
“For example, we estimate Aucklanders visiting the city can spend up to one third of their journey searching for a carpark, so we’re working with Spark to explore ways to help Aucklanders find available carparks quicker by installing 200 smart parking sensors throughout the Quarter.”
Creighton said that in the future, AT expects IoT applications powered by 5G could be used to detect incidents such as car crashes or pedestrian accidents and notify the appropriate authorities, reducing the time it takes for emergency services to respond and potentially saving lives.
Spark and AT have installed the IOT technology at Wynyard Quarter with key technology partners,NB Smart Cities, Glowbal NZ, SmartSensor Technologies and Parkable with the shared goal of using IOT and data to make better decisions and improve quality of life for people.