The Ingenious Devices Company
Business View Oceania Rob Maskell, Founder/ Director of MasTec, for our Technology View.
Formed in 1989 following Founder/ Director Rob Maskell’s return from North American and European markets, MasTec was established to introduce, develop, and integrate new technologies and engineering methods into New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific. The company now represents and distributes for approximately 150 international companies with a focus on IoT, including key industry players such as Opto22, ITECH, Regatron, and Digi International. The team of six uses their network of contractors to build medical and lab, instrumentation, and power systems for distribution throughout a range of Oceanic industries.
MasTec categorises their systems according to their use; medical and lab, instrumentation, and power. Examples of medical and lab systems include medical computers, data-loggers, line conditioners, transformers, inverters, and more, lab instruments and microscopes, and solutions for pharmaceuticals and biomedicine teaching. MasTec has a wide variety of instrumentation solutions including aircraft meters, industrial computers, electro hydraulics, cameras, robotics, utility meters, security, wireless systems, and many more. The company’s largest range lies in their power systems offering, which has been in development since 1991. MasTec power systems range from power stabilisers and optimisers through to cable protection, power banks, charging systems, and more. MasTec has more recently dipped their toes into solar systems through their partnerships with solaredge, Powercom, TGE, EP Solar, and Sorotec.
Founder/ Director Rob Maskell begins, “MasTec has a very broad offering to match a very broad market. We have great relationships with our building contractors, who have our highly-quality products ready for us to sell and distribute across Oceania. Our biggest job is navigating the sales and logistics space, but we also look after a lot of IoT systems that are backhauling data from Smart Metre Systems using wireless technology. We’ve been doing that for around a decade now. We also do a lot in industrial IoT, working to upgrade legacy systems to hook into the cloud, corporate databases, etc. MasTec is well known for our power systems, particularly our medical grade power backup systems for use in hospitals and laboratories. Over the last couple of years, we have been doing more and more in solar systems; our own lab is completely solar powered, so we know and use sunlight power very, very well. Finally, we also provide OEM supply to manufacturers, including embedded and wireless systems. A while our hardware and our technology can be used in a variety of spaces- agriculture, health, robotics, even rocket science, our clients come to us for highly specialised pieces for technology rather than general applications.”
MasTec marks their history in the industry and comprehensive network of suppliers and manufacturers as major differentiators in the competitive IoT market. Said network was key to the continued development of MasTec during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Maskell says. “Our partners are everything to us. We work with about 150 companies, so to make sure they all get a shoutout from us, we have a ‘featured companies’ list that gets published on our website each month. MasTec publishes 16 newsletters every month specific to vertical markets, like data acquisition, industrial wireless, industrial IoT, medical, etcetera, to keep everyone in the loop and make sure every company we work with gets a mention. Our partners were very good to us during the pandemic, and now that we are seeing major disruptions across the supply chain worldwide, it’s important that we support them in turn. We are already processing orders for the next year for our OEM supply. That’s how worried these guys are about distribution issues.”
Other challenges facing MasTec include New Zealand’s rigorous radiofrequency spectrum controls- currently, the nation’s 900-megahertz band is highly limited. Mr. Maskell explains, “We would really love to have the New Zealand government open up a little bit on the 900-megahertz restrictions. This frequency band is used for long distance radio transmissions and is very important in bringing data out of agricultural areas, because it goes through trees and hedges quite well. We’ve seen its success in remote areas of Australia, where restrictions aren’t as tight. We’ve been lobbying for this for six years, so we really want to see some change. It’s a technical issue for which we have no solution. Without that technology, we essentially have to wait for wireless companies to innovate and improve lower frequency systems.”
MasTec is committed to furthering sustainability in the high technology market through their partnerships with environmentally responsible entities, development and use of solar power systems, and recycling capabilities; the company recycles several tonnes of lead annually. Moving forward, MasTec hopes to do more in the sustainable technology space, supporting innovation and the move to carbon neutrality throughout Oceania. Also on the cards for the future is a website overhaul, Mr. Maskell says. “Our main website at the moment is a bit of an information overload, so we are in the process of developing websites that break down our offering into specific areas for vertical markets. Running multiple websites, however, is a massive task that requires huge investment in time and money. To combat this, we have worked with one of our partners to develop technology that allows us to have one giant database that is the foundation for all of our websites. So now, instead of updating websites individually, we can update one database and have all our websites update automatically from there.”
MasTec would like to conclude with a note on their mission statement, which reads: “To be an integral part of all technological solutions and the distribution of the latest technologies from the world’s top high-tech companies.” Mr. Maskell elaborates, “The Oceania region is and will continue to be full of potential for technological innovation. Our culture and can-do attitude at MasTec lend us the ability to create long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with key international technology suppliers and manufacturers, but something we are really passionate about is presenting New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific to the rest of the world as a region that does truly amazing things with technology. A fantastic example of this would be Rocket Lab New Zealand, an aerospace company that builds and launches satellites. Now, they’re based in Auckland. And I would argue that their technology is revolutionary. They are a highly sophisticated, highly sought-after company, and they’re in little old New Zealand. So we are really passionate about getting stories like this out there so that the world can recognise and acknowledge Oceanic companies as key players in technological innovation.”
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AT A GLANCE
What: Leading supplier of sophisticated high-technology products in Australia, New Zealand, and throughout the Pacific
Where: MasTec is based in New Zealand