Data usage in NZ increases… and it’s not just due to Netflix

New Zealand has seen an astronomical increase in data use in the past few years. But it’s not just Netflix shows which are chewing through the bandwidth. Data is not only used by us via broadband fixed connections and mobile phones. Smart meters, smart appliances and all sorts of other connected devices are also now making their mark on NZ’s total data use.

These internet-connected devices, when formed into networks, are what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). And IoT is one of the top emerging technology trends to watch.

How much data are we using?

In a magazine article I wrote for LGNZ magazine a year ago I quoted statistics on NZ’s total data use. I said in that article:

“New Zealand’s total data use in June 2018 had increased 40 percent since the previous year. In total, there has been an eight-fold increase in data use in the past five years.”

These figures were from an annual survey of NZ’s Internet Service Providers done by Stats NZ. Unfortunately last year Stats NZ cut this survey among others to cut costs, so I can’t give you any updates on this data. However year on year increases of this scale and accelerating over time are pretty typical these days.

What part does IoT play?

IoT proponents forecast billions of internet connected devices globally in the 2020s. While there is uncertainly some optimism in these forecasts, connected networks of devices will become the norm for managing all sorts of infrastructure, transport, logistics and any other sector which relies on a network on interrelated parts. This gives the operators of these networks huge amounts of data and a higher and more accurate level of control of each part of the network and system operation as a whole.

For now, about 14% of NZ businesses have deployed an IoT solution and all sorts of innovative uses of IoT are emerging.

To find out more about Internet of Things, Big Data and other emerging technologies, consider the NZPI course Emerging Technologies and Resource Management. I will be running this course in Auckland and Wellington in February 2020, followed by other locations March onwards.

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