Vodafone New Zealand laid out plans to expand its IoT network footprint to more than 60 per cent of country within three years, with demand for the services increasing as domestic businesses look to boost productivity and improve operational efficiency.

In a statement, the operator declared it currently provides extensive NB-IoT and LTE-M coverage.

The push to broaden IoT coverage forms part of a regional investment programme by the operator and comes as a second Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI2) reaches completion, Vodafone stated.

RBI2 is part of the Rural Connectivity Group, a joint venture between the three mobile operators in New Zealand appointed by the government to expand wireless broadband coverage.

Tony Baird, Vodafone director of wholesale and infrastructure, noted businesses are expanding their IoT strategies and adopting more connected devices and sensors in their operations to improve productivity.

“As a long, thin, often sparsely populated country it is hard to offer connectivity to all of New Zealand’s land mass, but our greater-than 60 per cent target will provide IoT coverage to the vast majority of our agricultural and productive land,” he explained.

Baird noted the RBI2 rollout on LTE-M is now live while its NB-IoT expansion plans are progressing.

Vodafone previously announced it would boost its infrastructure investment to improve coverage and expand capacity.