Telstra is moving to grab its share of the potentially gigantic Internet of Things (IoT) market with the launch of new location products for its consumer, small business, and enterprise customers.
Telstra’s Location of Things technology will help customers keep track of everything from keys, bikes, and family pets to business assets such as hardware and vehicles.
The announcement follows the telco’s deployment of Cat-M1 and Narrowband IoT technology on its mobile network over the past 12 months, and its strategy update in June, which focused on its plan to deliver next-generation connected services.
Telstra Locator is designed for consumer and small business customers, and Track and Monitor for enterprise customers.
Announcing Telstra Locator: Creating Australia’s most powerful finding service, Telstra Head of Innovation & Strategy Michele Garra, said: “We’re focused on harnessing IoT technology to introduce services that make customers’ connected lives easier. Our Location of Things products use connected technology to solve everyday problems, from families and local businesses to our country’s largest enterprises.”
Customers will be able to attach Telstra Locator tags to their valuables and use the Telstra Locator App to help find them if they go missing.
Locator also combines networks and technology in what the telco describes as an Australian first. This includes: a lightweight and long-lasting Bluetooth® tag for keys and purses and a rechargeable Wi-Fi tag ideal for pets, bikes and bags.
Each Telstra Locator tag then connects to one or a combination of Telstra’s networks, this includes a new Bluetooth locator community, parts of the Telstra Air Wi-Fi Network, and for LTE tags, Cat M1 IoT technology on Telstra’s mobile network, which has an enabled coverage footprint of about 3 million square km. “This is easily the largest in Australia and one of the largest in the world,” Telstra said.
Telstra Locator will launch later this year as a subscription-based service available to Telstra consumer and small business post-paid mobile customers.A premium LTE tag will be added to the Telstra Locator service, designed for high-value assets such as vehicles and machinery, early next year.
Telstra is also launching Telstra Device Locator for its 24×7 App® users in September. The feature is designed to help customers locate compatible mobile phones and SIM-enabled tablets on their Telstra account. The service will include tailored messages to lost devices and playing sounds to locate devices in hard to see places.
Telstra 24×7 App users can opt in to the Device Locator feature by enabling location permissions. This will also make them part of a Bluetooth locator community that allows Telstra mobile customers to securely and anonymously help each other find lost valuables.
Over 6,000 Telstra vehicles and 6,000 taxis (travelling more than 1 million km daily) will be fitted with Bluetooth locator technology to broaden the service’s reach.
Telstra is also trialling its Track and Monitor solution for enterprise customers, which it plans to launch in October.
“As low powered network technology evolves, we are seeing customers looking to introduce and expand their asset tracking capability, far beyond current fleet tracking, to a whole range of items such as equipment, pallets and packages in mass volumes,” Ms Garra said.
“These devices will send data about a customer’s valuable assets, delivering insights that our customers can easily translate into better business outcomes. Ultimately, our number one priority is to deliver transformative experiences for our customers, and we believe that opportunity lies in IoT,” she added.