Kent-based utility company South East Water announced that it has become the first utility firm in England to have a full Narrowband Internet of Things (NBIoT) commercial agreement with Vodafone UK.
“In total, this trial has brought together nine specialist companies in their respective fields to test the latest cutting edge digital water meters, sensors, advanced analytics and telecommunications channels,” said South East Water’s operations director Dr. Simon Earl.
“If successful, it has the potential to alert us to the smallest leaks on both our and our customers’ pipes soon after they occur, and could even enable us to predict and prevent pipeline failure before it happens.
“The data received at regular intervals from the digital meters and sensors within our trial area could revolutionise the way we look for and prevent leaks in the future, further reducing interruptions to supply, reducing the water we take from the environment and increasing the resilience of the service we provide to our customers.
“It represents a step change in the efficiency of providing this digital information as it doesn’t require the often prohibitive costs of installing new apparatus such as radio masts to transmit local data back to a central point.”
According to the release, it will use the partnership to transmit data for analysis from digital water meters at 2,000 homes in the trial area to alert South East Water of leaks in the network.
“We are really excited to be partnering South East Water on this project. Narrowband Internet of Things technology has the power to transform the utilities sector,” said Anne Sheehan, director of Vodafone Business.
“It enables a more accurate and efficient method of identifying and preventing leaks, helping companies like South East Water meet important regulatory and environmental standards. It is a perfect example of how technology can be used to create a more sustainable future and manage what is an increasingly precious commodity.”