In Chile, narrowband IoT primes the pump for water metering

Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica, Chinese ICT superpower Huawei and Danish smart utility metering firm Kamstrup have made a breakthrough in Chile by deploying what they say is the first pilot project of its kind in Latin America with real user data running over low-power, wide area NarrowBand Internet of Things technology (NB-IoT) for a local residential water provider.

The telemetry solution will let clients monitor daily usage, provide accurate invoicing and help detect leaks or abnormal domestic water-supply incidents. That same data will also be useful for water network operation team information.

Because the Internet of Things will be ubiquitous, extending around the world to a smorgasbord of sensors, terminals, in-equipment chips and beyond, it will generate a vast amount of network traffic across millions of machines and components. The requirement therefore will be for forms of connectivity that sip at power and don’t call on vast hardware and battery resources.

[ Try the IoT today: IBM report on Deriving Value from the Internet of Things ]

Telefónica said it wanted to promote an “open and participatory ecosystem” and so is leaning on Kamstrup, which has its roots in 1940s Denmark, to provide the meters while Huawei manages and updates the 700MHz NB-IoT network that is based on the LTE 4G standard. Telefónica IoT division is providing the know-how and the company is a veteran of the smart metering sector. Plans call for the pilot to be extended to more than 300 meters.

Why Chile? Telefónica global chief technology officer Enrique Blanco said:

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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