Telefónica, Huawei and Kamstrup have deployed their first project with real user’s data using cellular narrowband IoT technology (NB-IoT). The technology was tested by a Chilean water utility to provide connectivity management of a telemetry solution for residential water meters.
Telemetry will allow clients to know their day-to-day use, will facilitate actual invoicing by avoiding estimated use, and will detect leaks and abnormal situations in the home as well as not invoiced water flows. It will also offer the water network operation teams information regarding provision to the end customers.
NB-IoT is a low-power wide-area network connectivity solution using 4G LTE spectrum, focussed on adapting devices to the needs of the Internet of Things market (IoT), thus enabling increased battery life, appropriate use-specific cost, wide coverage and indoor penetration. At the same time, the technology will allow for great scalability and comprehensive security.
NB-IoT has been used to accelerate the creation of a service adapted to the needs of water telemetry, resolving management of the communications network of which Telefónica takes charge. The collaboration with Huawei, one of the main driving forces in support of this technology, has enabled the launch of what is the first true NB-IoT experience in Latin America.
With the goal of promoting an open and participatory Internet of Things ecosystem, Telefónica has collaborated with two large companies in the sector. One is Kamstrup, which has provided the smart meters, while the other is Huawei, which has taken on the corresponding update to the NB-IoT network.
Additionally, Telefónica Chile’s R&D Centre, together with Huawei, was responsible for designing and planning the technical tests. This centre, a joint initiative between Telefónica and the Chilean government, specialises in developing technologies around IoT, particularly those associated with connectivity and low power networks, which are fundamental to sector development.
Vicente Muñoz, chief IoT officer at Telefónica, explained: “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.”
Telefónica and the other companies that have participated in this first experimental client pilot plans are to expand in the near future to more than 300 residential water meters by reusing the 700 MHz LTE network and thereby demonstrating how public service companies can achieve efficient operations through IoT solutions.