Telstra has taken two significant initiatives to ramp up its IoT offerings, acquiring fleet management systems provider MTData and choosing Melbourne-based Smart Parking as its preferred supplier of parking technology.

Telstra said its acquisition of Australian-owned MTData would help it drive IoT growth in Australia and internationally.

“The acquisition will provide Telstra with the technical capability and software expertise necessary to help fast track its enterprise connected vehicle offering as part of its growing business-ready Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem,” the telco said in a statement.

The Sydney-based company claims to have carved out several core areas of capability to support the growing customer demand for IoT solutions, including connected vehicles, asset tracking and location insights in the utilities, agriculture and resources industries.

MTData was founded in 2003 and today has offices in Australia, the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and the Middle East.

It claims to hold a 95 percent share of the Australian taxi market, to be a “highly recognisable leader in taxi dispatch,” in the US with “a large and expanding customer base” and to be “one of the leading providers of taxi dispatch solutions” in Canada.

From its base in Saudi Arabia it claims to reach all the countries in the Middle East and North Africa and to be one of the largest providers of GPS tracking and dispatch solutions in the region.

The executive director of Telstra Enterprise, Michelle Bendschneider, said the MTData acquisition would give Telstra advanced technology and deep domain expertise in connected vehicle solutions.

“This strategic acquisition will enable us to capitalise on the business ready IoT capability on our network, deliver IoT solutions to our customers in the heavy vehicle industry and supports a natural transition towards future autonomous vehicle technologies,” she said.

Telstra wins five council smart parking contracts

ASX-listed Smart Parking (ASX: SPZ) told the ASX on 1 November that it had been chosen by Telstra as its preferred supplier of parking technology as part of Telstra’s wider smart cities initiative.

“Smart Parking has negotiated a special purchase order agreement with Telstra which sets the rates and conditions of contracts. This agreement will now allow Telstra’s Government and Smart City sales people to offer Smart Parking’s solutions to all their customers across Australia,” the company said in a statement.

Smart Parking describes itself as “a global company with offices in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.” Its technology can be applied to on-street and off-street parking. Sensors in the ground detect the presence of a car and a smart phone app can direct drivers to vacant spaces.

The company said Telstra had already secured contracts to install its sensors in five Australian council regions.

It listed these as:

  • City of Casey: 904 sensors scheduled for installation in November
  • Cairns Regional Council: 224 sensors – set for installation in November/ December
  • City of Greater Geelong: 209 sensors - set for installation in December
  • Broken Hill City Council: 105 sensors - set for installation in December
  • City of Joondalup: 120 sensors – installed.

In August the company won a contract worth around $800,000 to supply 2,100 sensors that, it said provide real-time data on parking space availability in Hobart.