Spark demos 5G capability in Auckland 

5G and IoT will contribute to addressing urban and sustainability challenges, firm says
Networking & Communication Systems / October 27, 2020
By Ben Spencer
Wynyard Quarter includes smart benches with charging capabilities (Credit: Spark)
Wynyard Quarter includes smart benches with charging capabilities (Credit: Spark)

Spark is showcasing its 5G network and Internet of Things (IoT) technology such as connected lighting and parking sensors in the New Zealand city of Auckland. 

The telecommunications company installed the IoT enabled infrastructure at Auckland's Wynyard Quarter’s Innovation Precinct in collaboration with Auckland Transport (AT). 

Spark technology lead Renee Mateparae says: “Our partnership with AT is about helping bring to life the significant contribution 5G and IoT will make in addressing urban, economic and sustainability challenges across the country.”

Smart lighting has been installed in the surrounding streets of the precinct to generate heat maps of foot traffic. This will help AT identify any “choke points” to better inform future infrastructure investments as well as monitor air pollution, the company adds. 

Wynyard Quarter also features solar-powered smart benches with electric scooter charging capabilities, connected over Spark's IoT network. 

Chris Creighton, AT group manager technology solutions, says: “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. 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.” 

Spark and AT installed the IoT technology in collaboration with technology partners which include NB Smart Cities, Glowbal NZ, SmartSensor Technologies and Parkable. 

The 5G network covers Britomart, the Viaduct, Commercial Bay and Wynyard Quarter, as well as in North Shore’s Takapuna. 

Creighton is positive about the future of the technology, emphasising how AT expects IoT applications powered by 5G to detect incidents such as car crashes or pedestrian accidents and notify the appropriate authorities.


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