Telstra announces tag and trace service

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Telstra announces tag and trace service

Telstra's forthcoming Locator service will allow small businesses to keep track of their assets.

Having spent the last year deploying Cat-M1 and Narrowband IoT technology on its mobile network, Telstra is able to introduce Telstra Locator, a service for consumers and small businesses that want to be able to locate significant physical assets.

Customers will be able to attach Telstra Locator tags to their valuables and then use a mobile app to help track them down if they go astray.

Three types of tag will be available to suit different requirements.

Telstra outlined small business uses including photographers attaching Locator tags to their hard cases and cameras, and tradespeople using the service to help locate their tools and vehicles on busy construction sites.

The service is launching later this year with a Bluetooth tag for items such as keys and purses, and a Wi-Fi tag said to suit pets, bikes and bags. These tags basically work by being 'seen' by Telstra's network of Bluetooth locators and parts of its Air Wi-Fi network.

Early 2019 will see the introduction of an LTE tag, like pictured, designed for things like vehicles and machinery. The advantage of the LTE tag is that it should work wherever a Telstra mobile signal is available - which is around three million of Australia's 7.7 million square kilometres.

"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."

Telstra Locator will be - at least initially - available to Telstra consumer and small business post-paid mobile customers.

A new Locator feature in the Telstra 24x7 app for Android and iOS will help customers locate compatible Telstra mobile phones and SIM-enabled tablets on their Telstra account. Users will be able to opt in to this feature, which makes devices part of Telstra's network of Bluetooth-based Locator sensors.

Over the next few years more than 6,000 Telstra vehicles and 6,000 taxis will become part of this network of sensors.

Telstra will also introduce a similar service dubbed Track and Monitor, which will be aimed at enterprise customers.

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