Telstra is stepping up its drive to capitalize on the potential of the Internet of Things, with the launch of a set of location products aimed at Australian consumers, small businesses and enterprise customers.
The telco’s Location of Things technology will help customers keep track of their valuables from keys, bikes, and family pets — to business assets such as hardware and vehicles.
“We’ve already deployed the most advanced IoT technology on our mobile network, we’re now focused on harnessing IoT technology to introduce services that make customers’ connected lives easier,” said Telstra head of innovation and strategy Michele Garra.
“Telstra’s new Location of Things products use connected technology to solve everyday problems for Australians – from families and local businesses through to our country’s largest enterprises.”
The move follows Telstra’s roll out of Cat-M1 and Narrowband IoT technology on its mobile network over the past 12 months, as well as the firm’s June T22 strategy update, which highlighted its plan to deliver the next generation of connected experiences for customers.
Later this year Telstra will introduce Telstra Locator for consumer and small business customers, and Track and Monitor for enterprise customers, helping a broad cross-section of the Australian community locate the assets that matter most to them.
With almost one in three Australians losing their keys in the past 12 months, and around one in four misplacing a phone or remote control*, Telstra’s vision is to create the nation’s most powerful finding service.
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.
Telstra Locator will bring together an Australian-first combination of networks and technology with three different tags designed for unique customer needs.
These include a lightweight and long-lasting Bluetooth tag for keys and purses and a rechargeable Wi-Fi tag. Early next year Telstra will introduce a premium LTE tag to the Telstra Locator service, designed for high-value assets such as vehicles and machinery.
Each Telstra Locator Tag 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.
Telstra Locator will launch later this year as a subscription-based service available to Telstra consumer and small business post-paid mobile customers.
Telstra customers helping each other: Bluetooth locator community
Telstra customers will have their first taste of Telstra’s finding service in early September, with the release of a new Telstra Device Locator feature for Telstra’s 24×7 App users.
The feature will help customers locate compatible Telstra mobile phones and SIM-enabled tablets on their Telstra account, including the ability to send tailored messages to lost devices and play sounds to locate devices in hard to see places.
Telstra Device Locator is ideal for families with a mix of Android and iOS devices allowing them to locate their compatible devices from a single screen.
Telstra 24×7 App users will be given the opportunity to opt-in for the Telstra Device Locator feature by enabling location permissions, and at the same time they’ll become part of a Bluetooth locator community that allows Telstra mobile customers to securely and anonymously help other customers to find lost valuables.
The Bluetooth locator community will continue to grow over the next few years with more than 6,000 Telstra vehicles and 6,000 taxis (travelling more than 1 million kilometres each day) being fitted with Bluetooth locator technology to broaden reach.
Putting small businesses in control: managing assets made easy
For many small businesses, assets from machinery to catering equipment represent their livelihood and a significant personal investment.
Telstra Locator will bring peace of mind to small business owners by helping find expensive assets that become lost – quickly and easily.
Photographers will be able to attach Telstra Locator tags to their hard cases and cameras, while tradespeople will be able to use the service to help locate their tools and transport equipment on busy constructions sites.
Low-powered and low-cost technology empowering enterprise
Telstra is also working with a number of large organisations to trial its new Track and Monitor solution for enterprise customers, which will be available from 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,” Garra said.
Enterprise customers will be able to purchase Track and Monitor to enable low-cost, large-volume asset tracking, whether across multiple warehouses or retail sites - or while in transit.
“These devices will send data about a customer’s valuable assets, delivering valuable 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,” Garra said.