Telstra’s IoT network connects over 3 million things
4th September 2019: Australia is connecting on average 2,000 new devices to Telstra’s Internet of Things (IoT) network every day, with over 3.2 million devices now connected.
At Telstra Vantage this week, Telstra showcased how connected “things” were increasing safety, reducing costs, improving productivity and delivering better customer experiences. Telstra Vantage 2019 featured Telstra IoT platforms including Track and Monitor, smart spaces, Telstra Water Management, IoT Connection Manager, Telstra’s Bluetooth network and more.
Telstra Global IoT Solutions Executive, Gerhard Loots, said Telstra had built the largest IoT network in the country, which meant Australians could make the most of a connected world that’s real and fast.
“From vehicles to machines, infrastructure, smart meters, buildings, and much more, the benefits we can realise from a connected world are now real and attainable,” Mr Loots said.
“The number of IoT devices being connected each day is increasing at a great rate. Connected vehicles are an exciting product of IoT, but we are also seeing solar panels, humidity sensors, traffic cones, buses, whitegoods and garbage trucks connect to our network, and deliver insights that previously weren’t possible.”
More than half of Australian organisations are confident that an IoT strategy will generate significant revenue increases[i], while over 70 per cent agree IoT enables improved employee productivity and experiences[ii]. This positivity saw Telstra’s IoT business revenue grow nearly 20 per cent in FY19.
“Real value is realised when IoT is put into the hands of businesses that want to find new ways to solve traditional problems,” said Mr Loots.
National transport company, SCT Logistics, is using IoT to see where its assets are and understand how they are being used.
“SCT Logistics is rolling out Telstra’s Track and Monitor solution to 1,500 trailers, containers and rail wagons in its fleet,” said Mr Loots.
“Not only will this allow them to understand more about their assets and increase utilisation, they expect the technology investment to be offset by cost savings in as little as three years.
“Building a business case for IoT can seem like the hardest part, so large scale examples like this are paving the way for an exciting and connected future.”
Mr Loots said Telstra’s network was on track to connect over 4 million IoT devices by this time next year.
“With the combination of IoT technology and Australian ingenuity we will continue to see exciting applications like those on show at Telstra Vantage this week, that enhance the way we live and work and improve the productivity of Australian businesses.”
Media contact: Matthew Wu
Reference number: 083/2019
Editor’s note: Below are some of Telstra's IoT platforms and solutions on show at Telstra Vantage
SCT Logistics to save millions in lost assets with Telstra Track and Monitor
As Australia’s biggest private rail freight operator, supported by a large road fleet, SCT Logistics operates trains up to 1.8 kilometres long and weighing up to 6,000 tonnes. With rail-wagons, trailers and containers valued between $75,000 to $200,000, the average annual loss rate of three per cent presented a $4 million cost to the business each year.
With an understanding of the challenges and drivers, Telstra worked alongside SCT Logistics to implement a three-month trial of Telstra Track and Monitor. Immediately the number of lost assets dropped to zero.
Launched in September 2018, Telstra Track and Monitor is a cost efficient, scalable and easy to use end-to-end IoT asset-tracking solution. It is supported by a unique combination of Telstra’s networks and technology, with a coverage footprint of around 3 million square kilometres for LTE-M devices.
SCT Logistics Chief Information Officer, Sean Atchinson, said reducing loss was important, but so was making sure each asset was being used.
"The priority is to know the location of every asset, but second to that we need to ensure we’re getting the most value out of them. When a container sits idly at a customer’s site, it’s costing us money,” said Mr Atchinson.
During the trial, SCT Logistics placed solar-powered Telstra LTE-M Solar Tracking Units on a sample of its non-powered assets. Through the Telstra Track and Monitor web portal, for the first time, SCT Logistics was able to get a single view of the approximate locations of all moving assets on one page.
“We immediately saw the potential of this data,” said Mr Atchinson. “We can now access meaningful insights on each asset, understand when an asset is idle or missing, and use these insights to plan supply chain efficiencies.”
After successfully reducing lost assets to zero during the trial period, SCT Logistics is now rolling-out Telstra Track and Monitor across its 1,500 non-powered assets, with data being further integrated into SCT Logistics' technology systems. The cost for a full technology roll-out is expected to be offset within three years.
Hybrid Telstra Track and Monitor coming soon
By the end of the financial year, Telstra expects to launch an extension to the Telstra Track and Monitor device range. This will include new asset tracking units with both LTE-M and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth geolocation. This new device will combine the strength of the LTE-M technology for critical tracking needs, with the low cost and low power benefits of Bluetooth tracking, in a rugged device.
Customers will be able to track their assets with multiple network technologies through a single portal and select from a range of devices best suited for their use case. They will also continue to have the option to integrate data from the Track and Monitor API into their existing systems.
Telstra’s Bluetooth community brings together an array of Bluetooth connections to build a finding network across Australia. This includes Track and Monitor customers, Telstra Locator customers, Telstra payphones, opted-in Telstra 24x7 users, and Telstra technician vans. The network has grown as more customers use Telstra’s locating products and more Telstra 24x7 app users choose to join the community. This has resulted in an increase from 7.5 million observations – or location datapoints – per month to over 25 million, from February to July this year.
There are also plans to add Bluetooth locators to future CAB Digital Media TVs, which will see thousands of taxis join the massive community around Australia that is securely and anonymously helping other users find lost valuables.
Telstra Smart, Secure Spaces offer workplace insights
Telstra’s Smart Spaces team is developing Connected Building technology that demonstrates how IoT sensors can help organisations make smarter decisions on one of its most expensive investments, its facilities.
Telstra’s Connected Building solution is being trialled at Telstra’s Melbourne and Sydney offices and implementations are underway with customers in banking and property management.
On show at Telstra Vantage, the near real-time dashboard reveals which desks and meeting rooms are being used by anonymously detecting people on the floor. This information allows facilities staff to make informed decisions about the amount of space they need and how best to set it up, to schedule cleaning and maintenance based on usage, and to increase efficiency of services and utilities such as lighting.
Telstra Connected Buildings is currently being developed and is planned to launch in early 2020.
Telstra Vantage also showcased the use of Telstra Managed Video Surveillance to capture analytics for a broad range of applications beyond the workplace, such as building security and the collection of strategic retail store data.
With a camera mounted above the showcase, the demonstration used heat mapping to understand the area and show capabilities including live people counting, privacy masking, activity visualisation and intrusion detection.
Protecting Australia’s water supply with Telstra Water Management
Telstra Vantage showcased how Telstra Water Management will help preserve water on the world’s driest inhabited continent. The demonstration showed water pipes fitted with devices and sensors that measured water pressure, water flow, temperature and water levels. Captured on a central dashboard, information like this can help customers identify leaks and blockages in their water network more quickly to reduce water loss, improve the services they provide, and reduce impact to the environment.
As Australia's largest water utility, Sydney Water partnered with Telstra to develop a proof of concept focused on reducing sewer blockages and overflows, maintaining water pressure and using digital meters to detect leaks on customer properties; all aimed at providing better customer outcomes. To-date, the program has helped detect 22 blockages that would have resulted in customer or environmental impacts, as well as a potential overflow affecting more than 4,000 properties.
Water Corporation in Western Australia is using Telstra Captis devices, Telstra’s IoT Platform and Telstra’s NB-IoT network to better understand how Perth households use water. Last week, this project was awarded National Data Insights Innovation of the Year at the iAwards.
Telstra has also launched a trial of Telstra Digital Water Metering solution, which provides insights across a water network to help reduce water leaks and non-revenue water. The solution measures water consumption to help detect leakages in and around residential properties. The solution includes LTE-M and NB-IoT certified devices specifically designed to fit most existing mechanical water meters. Telstra’s Captis Metrum devices connect to Telstra’s IoT Platform within Telstra’s LTE-M/NB-IoT coverage areas and give customers access to their water consumption data via Telstra’s Water Management Application.
Managing your devices with Telstra IoT Connection Manager
As the excitement around IoT grows, so does the number of connected devices that organisations need to manage. To present an efficient, secure and scalable solution, Telstra plans to launch Telstra IoT Connection Manager in 2020, however interested customers can join the pilot today.
Telstra IoT Connection Manager will offer a way to view and manage all IoT SIMs in one location – from the connection status, to ordering new SIMs, changing plans or even setting rules and alerts to automate behaviours. The solution has been developed in close consultation with customers, utilising agile methodologies to pilot, test and feedback on each release to ensure the final product delivers what customers really need.
With direct information feeds from the Telstra network, customers will be able to access near real-time connectivity and traffic information. Telstra IoT Connection Manager will increase the insights customers have into their device connections, which will allow them to scale large IoT projects in a cost-efficient manner.
[i] Forrester's Business Technographics Global Networks And Telecommunications Survey, 2019
[ii] Forrester's Business Technographics Global Networks And Telecommunications Survey, 2019