Seeker Wireless powers innovative new Local Zone product from Vodafone New Zealand

 In PR

UPDATE:Read a review of the LocalZone service in New Zealand PC World, were Ted Gibbons says “My verdict: the service works seamlessly.”

Auckland and London, July 3, 2008 – Seeker Wireless, one of the leading location based service technology companies announced today that its SeekerZone™ solution has been deployed to power the new Local Zone product launched this week by Vodafone New Zealand.

Created expressly to support fixed mobile substitution strategies, SeekerZone™ allows operators such as Vodafone to motivate subscribers to continue using their mobile phones instead of a fixed line by setting innovative tariffs for subscribers around their “local zone”.

Unlike HomeZone solutions currently deployed in Europe, the Seeker solution provides much smaller home zones, meaning mobile operators can reduce the revenue leakage caused when subscribers attempt calls some distance from their actual home. 

Results from recent operator trials and live deployments have shown that by locating mobiles more accurately, Seeker is able to greatly reduce the size of home zones by up to 45 times compared to existing Cell-ID based home zone systems. 

Seeker’s technology has an accuracy rating of several hundred metres for built up urban areas, and the use of smaller zones by Vodafone New Zealand and other mobile operators means that affordable home calling is now available on a standard mobile phone.

Seeker’s unique technology does not require operators to invest in new handsets or add-ons such as GPS. It can be deployed quickly as the solution is pre-loaded onto the SIM card and does not rely on the design and manufacture of new chipsets or devices, and works on both 2G and 3G networks.

“Operators have been impressed with how Seeker’s technology performed against existing Cell-ID based systems” said Dr Chris Drane, CEO of Seeker Wireless. “By locating callers much more accurately, Seeker’s solution can help reduce revenue leakage impacts that have dogged current Cell-ID based home zone systems.  We are delighted that Vodafone New Zealand has chosen our solution to power their new Local Zone product.

The value of Seeker’s technology extends beyond home zone solutions. It can be deployed to drive revenues from other location-sensitive services such as location based advertising and mobile search.

Dr Drane concluded: “Location based technology is much more than just navigation and tracking. We believe that high accuracy location solutions should be an enabler to drive LBS revenues for operators from a number of different services that deliver tangible benefits to subscribers. Consumers do not really care about the convergence of technologies, what they really want is services that provide genuine convenience and value for money.

About Seeker Wireless

Founded by two of the brightest minds in location, Seeker Wireless has approached the issue of cellular location in a highly mathematical, yet practical manner.  Seeker has offices in London and Sydney. 

Seeker Wireless focuses on Fixed Mobile Substitution “home zone” solutions for mobile operators wishing to provide fixed-line calling services using standard GSM or UMTS handsets.  The company’s solution provides high accuracy handset location depending on local cell density. Location sensitive search and mobile marketing applications are also supported by Seeker’s patent pending zone detection technology.

More information is available at www.seekerwireless.com

Vodafone Local Zone product information is available at www.vodafone.co.nz/local-zone/

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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.

  • Ronan Higgins

    So what is their magic ingredient on the SIM anyway?

  • Ronan, rather than just using the Cell-ID from the network, the SIM card runs a program in real time that is comparing the zone registered at the home of the user (the first time they use it), with the current radio environment.

    In this way, the home zone detection is more reliable, and accurate (= smaller zones).

    Other solutions in Europe do not have the same “magic” on the SIM (some have no intelligence on the handset at all – some homezone systems require the user to wait for a beep when they call to see if they are being charged the home rate).

    Also the size of the zones from these 1st generation homezone solutions are HUGE in the order of 1, 2, 5 kms in size or more (good for the consumer, bad for the operator).

    On O2 Genion in Dresden in Germany for example, the whole town is a “home zone” – so you pay 0.03 euros per minute instead of 0.30 euros per minute for a call anywhere in the town – so O2 are losing 27 euro cents per minute – not a good way to make money.

    Instead in the Vodafone NZ local zone powered by Seeker Wireless, the zones are not only much smaller, but can be controlled in size and are much more reliable than the Zuhause, Casa, T- mobile @ home, or Genion services. SeekerZone also supports multiple zones and the users can define the zone around their favourite location (ie home) and not have to worry about a postcode search.

    The reason that operators are choosing our solution over other available is that they can see that for long term location (ie additional services such as pure location without GPS and location based advertising etc), that this solution gives them more flexibility and also reduced the revenue leakage that would have occurred using traditional cell-ID homezone services.

    Expect to see many more operators use the SeekerZone solution going forward for fixed mobile substitution/HomeZone/mobile advertising solutions.

  • Anna Gudmundson

    Good stuff Andrew!
    Best,
    Anna