Seeker Wireless wins Vodafone innovation award

 In location

Congratulations to the team at my old company, Seeker Wireless who have picked up the Vodafone Innovation Partner of the Year award from Vodafone New Zealand.

As the one responsible for the Vodafone New Zealand deal in the first place (I was their 3rd employee back in 2004 and ran Sales and Business Development), it is great to see the company kicking goals, and being recognised by such a forward thinking company as Vodafone.

Winning the account was the easy bit!  It was the great technical team in Sydney that worked closely with the Vodafone New Zealand team to launch their Local Zone product – which allows Vodafone New Zealand to compete directly with the incumbent, Telecom New Zealand for fixed line telephony.

The SeekerZone solution is a very smart piece of location technology that sits on the SIM card and accurately detects when the subscriber leaves their home “zone”, and allows Vodafone to offer local call rates on a standard mobile phone, and mobile rates when they are away from home.  More on the Local Zone service can be found on the Vodafone New Zealand website.

Well done Chris and Malcolm and the team on the award, and I look forward to seeing the new location products the team are working on that genuinely rival what Google have done with their my location feature in Google mobile maps.

Telecom TV also have an interesting view on the HomeZone concept.

The official press release follows below.

Seeker Wireless, one of the leading location-based service technology companies announced today that it has been named Innovation Partner of the Year 2008 at a conference hosted jointly by Vodafone New Zealand and Vodafone Australia.

The Vodafone Partner Awards were created to recognize excellence in provision of services to Vodafone by its supply partners. This year’s conference focused on the theme “Collective Innovation for Growth”. In keeping with the theme, Seeker’s award recognised the company’s willingness to collaborate at multiple levels to ensure Vodafone was able to effectively enter the fixed-line business with a purely mobile offering.

The contract for which the award was given saw Seeker Wireless providing the world’s most technically advanced and financially efficient zone detection solution in support of Vodafone New Zealand’s recently launched Local Zone product. 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”.

Vodafone has run a joint partner awards between Australia and New Zealand for several years, assessing several hundred suppliers in three categories. This year’s Innovation Award was presented to Seeker Wireless by Ken Tunnicliffe, Vodafone New Zealand’s Director of Technology.

Dr Chris Drane, CEO of Seeker Wireless stated that “making the transition from a start-up with fantastic technology to delivering carrier-grade solutions was a very steep learning curve for us. Our solution moves the SLA bar up from 90% to 99.5% in-zone reliability, an almost unbelievable leap in service level. We are grateful that in Vodafone we had a customer that truly valued what we were doing as a key plank in their strategy for market growth. And by treating our relationship as one of genuine collaboration, Vodafone allowed us to constantly improve our value to them. Along the way, Seeker has become a better rounded partner on which other Vodafone operators can now depend for their key location platform deliveries.”

Under the contract, Seeker delivered its SeekerZone™ solution which enables Vodafone to locate mobiles much more accurately and reliably, allowing Vodafone to offer a fixed-line product that runs on the subscriber’s mobile phone when it is at home or in a nominated location. Operators elsewhere that have launched location based billing products based on alternative, first generation Cell-ID systems have experienced severe revenue leakage because the location was not accurate or reliable enough. SeekerZone eliminates these issues saving some operators tens of millions of dollars in revenue every year.

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

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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.