Tuesday, 16 June 2015 15:54

Better connections promised

Written by 

Faster internet is helping Waikato dairy farmers to manage their businesses on mobile phones. Spark New Zealand recently deployed 4G via the 700MHz radio spectrum on its Hangatiki site. 

Waikato region trials of the 700MHz spectrum began in April last year. Trials started in Morrinsville and 106 sites have 4G on 700MHz in Waikato. (Other regions have 44 sites with 4G.) 

At least 60% of smartphones and some tablets usable on the Spark mobile network can now run on the 700MHz spectrum, easing access to 4G services to share, upload, download and stream content fast and reliably. 

Morrinsville dairy farmer Bruce Thomas says over the past 12 months access to fast 4G speeds have given him confidence to do more on mobile. “4G… fast speed has given me the confidence to download and experiment with new mobile apps and software to make our lives easier on our farm.”

“In the past I didn’t bother with these apps, thinking they might be waste of time with the type of connectivity we had, but it’s a different story now.”

Thomas says he and his sharemilker use many of the apps to do things faster. 

“We regularly use the Minda Lookup app for real-time access to LIC’s data on your herd. It quickly allows you to identify the animal on the spot and check stats like health and ancestry…. This saves me trekking back to the house to log on to the home computer.”

Spark last year bought four lots of the 700MHz spectrum. The 4G system will extend over NZ during the next three years. 

Spark Connect’s networks general manager, Colin Brown, says the more spectrum a provider owns, the more capacity it has to carry data at faster speeds on the network, even at busy times.

 “We invested $158 million to secure four lanes of the 700MHz spectrum ‘highway’…. By adding more 4G lanes we’re adding a whole lot more capacity to our mobile network.

 “Agribusiness customers can take advantage of new technologies like Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications to do things like monitor soil and rainfall levels or track herd movements.  

“M2M technology makes the process of recording, storing and uploading key data to the likes of the Cloud faster, raising productivity and saving cost.” 

More like this

Farmers up their game

A Waikato environmentalist who led a public campaign against poor winter grazing practices on Southland farms says farmers are making improvements.



Limited feed puts ewes at risk

Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped him getting out and about in difficult environments.


A ticking time bomb

Our dairy industry risks being exposed to a ‘ticking time bomb’ of unethical players unlawfully passing off New Zealand-made and…

Nervous wait for winter

The unknown of what winter will bring is very much on the mind of the Hawkes Bay Rural Support Trust…

Be careful, Potatoes NZ!

Moves by the NZ potato industry to have anti-dumping tariffs imposed on European imports could play into the hands of…

China keeps dairy prices high

Whole milk powder (WMP) prices are now sitting above pre-Covid-19 levels and New Zealand farmers can thank a resurging Chinese…

Machinery & Products

Hydrogen excavator a first

While most motive industries are focused on hybrid or EV power plants, JCB has developed the construction industry’s first hydrogen-powered…

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped…

HP and digital tech combo

The latest New Holland T8 GENESIS is said to capitalise on the productive combinations of Stage V horsepower and digital…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Spell check

Your old mutt was not surprised to see the NZ Dairy Industry Awards hastily remove the title of this year’s…

About time!

Your canine crusader has been a long-time critic of NZ governments – of all stripes – who, for the past…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter