Telefonica, Huawei and Kamstrup have successfully deployed a smart water pilot project in Chile. It’s the first instance in South America to combine real user data with NarrowBand IoT technology (NB-IoT). The project involves a telemetry solution for remote monitoring and management of domestic water meters.
It’s hoped that the project will provide the blueprint for further expansion to over 300 residential water meters, demonstrating how utility companies can improve efficiencies through IoT technologies.
During the pilot, telemetry data will be used from smart meters to inform residents of their day-to-day water use. It will also allow the utility provider to simplify bills by avoiding estimated use and providing an exact invoice. The remote system could detect leaks and abnormal situations with water in the home, and offer the water network useful information regarding provision to end customers.
Not without its critics, NB-IoT’s low-power, wide-area network connectivity can give remote devices increased battery life and wide coverage. At the same time, the technology allows for easy scalability and more comprehensive security measures.
The collaboration involved three IoT pioneers: Kamstrup, a Danish supplier of intelligent energy and water metering technology; telecoms equipment manufacturer Huawei, a long-time backer of NB-IoT; and communications giant Telefonica. Telefonica Chile’s R&D centre worked with Huawei to design and plan technical tests and ensure connectivity; Kamstrup provided the smart water meters.
Telefonica expands telemetry and smart meter projects
Vicente Muñoz, chief IoT officer at Telefonica, said: “We are proud to have united with Huawei and Kamstrup to launch this commercial pilot with NarrowBand IoT in Latin America. This affirms our commitment to using our network infrastructure to provide our clients with IoT solutions, as we adapt to each of our clients’ needs.”
Telefonica’s move in South America is the latest in a line of similar telemetry and NB-IoT projects. Other public sector initiatives include a £1.5 billion contract with the UK government to roll out millions of smart meters and manage their connectivity over the next decade.
Telefonica is also an active member of the 3GPP group, promoting LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) technologies such as NarrowBand IoT and promoting standardization across the industry.