Telstra acquires Australian connected vehicles tech vendor MTData

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Telstra acquires Australian connected vehicles tech vendor MTData

Telstra has bolstered its internet of things environment with the acquisition of Australian-owned GPS and fleet management solutions provider MTData for an undisclosed amount.

The Melbourne-headquartered company provides GPS fleet management and dispatch systems for a range of industries that heavily rely on vehicles, such as transport, government departments and public services.

MTData was founded in 2003 and also operates in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand and the Middle East. The company has 70 staff.

The company claims to be a "dominant force" in the Australian taxi market and transport sector, commanding 95 percent market share. However, a Telstra spokesperson told CRN that it did not purchase the taxi business as part of the acquisition.

Telstra said the acquisition would provide it with the technical capability and software expertise to fast-track its enterprise connected vehicle offering.

“This strategic acquisition will enable us to capitalise on the business ready IoT capability on our network, deliver IoT solutions to our customers in the heavy vehicle industry and support a natural transition towards future autonomous vehicle technologies," said Telstra Enterprise executive director Michelle Bendschneider.

“The expertise from MTData complements our vision to be a world-class technology company that empowers people to connect. We look forward to working in partnership with the MTData team to continue to innovate for our customers in the months and years ahead.”

Telstra didn't disclose the buying price for MTData, however, the Australian Financial Review claimed in February that EY had been enlisted to sell the business, seeking between $50 million and $100 million.

Telstra revealed in September that it had activated its national IoT network, enabling CAT-M1 devices to operate on a network already bigger than the telco's 4G network. Telstra group executive of global enterprise and services Brendon Riley said at the time that the network was already in use in industries like vehicles and logistics, along with agriculture and mining, and would progressively roll out new platforms and capabilities.

MTData chief executive Matthew Belliza said: “We’re an Australian company and we’re proud that in joining Telstra we are still Australian owned. We will continue to work with industry to build solutions for the unique needs of our customers.

“Telstra is the right partner for MTData. There are strong synergies with our technology and customer focused cultures and through our integration we will provide customers with access to new and existing technologies like Telstra’s IoT offerings.”

Story updated at 1:06 PM 1 November to reflect that Telstra has not acquired the taxi technology business.

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