BT hopes to speed up the installation and maintenance of broadband and phone services thanks to a roll out of “smart” lockers across the UK.
The “Pelipods” will be used to store equipment and spare parts to engineers working on BT’s network.
Utilising a SIM that roams across different networks to pick up the strongest 2G signal, each Pelipod automatically notifies an engineer via SMS or email when their delivery or collection has taken place, as well as taking a photograph of the inside of the locker.
Engineers access the lockers using unique codes associated with specific users, drivers and parcels.
BT said the move would cut down the amount of travel its engineers had to do, giving them more time to work on the network.
Currently, engineers have to collect equipment and supplies from BT’s forward stock locations or distribution centres.
The operator said it plans to deploy “a few thousand” Pelipods in 500 “strategic sites” around the country.
BT’s new Wholesale and Ventures division has acquired the company that makes Pelipods as it looks to offer them to enterprise customers in addition to using them internally.
Pelipod Ltd has existing customers in the utilities, healthcare and heavy machinery sectors.
Nicholas Hale, Managing Director of Ventures, said: “We currently provide supply chain services to BT Group businesses and a number of external customers.
“Pelipod will boost our existing supply chain offerings and provide us with a competitive edge through an innovative technology which takes advantage of the Internet of Things.
“The move also supports BT’s continuing efforts to improve customer service.
“By spending less time on the road travelling to forward stock locations, engineers will be able to pick up equipment more easily and spend additional time working on the network and delivering broadband and phone services to customers.”