Telstra’s IoT network helps stop drips, drops and leaks

A new service from Telstra has been helping utilities reduce water wastage, the telco said today.

Telstra did not name the utilities but said they were “some of the largest” water utilities in Australia.

Over the last 12 months the company said the utilities had been trialing a ‘Digital Water Metering’ IoT solution that has helped identity water leakages and prioritise water-saving measures.

Telstra supports both the NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) and Cat M1 standards. The telco currently has an NB-IoT footprint of around 3.5 million square kilometres, Telstra said today.

The company’s NB-IoT network is “built to support millions of connected devices such as water quality sensors, environment monitors, trackers and alarms,” said Gerhard Loots, Telstra's head of IoT and M2M.

“By transmitting at very low data rates with coverage that reaches challenging locations - such as in-building and sub-surface - and battery life measured in years rather than days, NB-IoT makes scaled IoT deployments possible.”

A digital water meter that uses NB-IoT to connect can have a 12-15 year battery life, utilising support for features such as power saving mode and deep sleep mode, Loots said.

The size of the area covered by NB-IoT means that regional water utilities can obtain data from areas where the cost has previously been prohibitive, the Telstra executive said.

Last month Loots revealed details of a new suite of location services Telstra is launching. The services are underpinned by a range of wireless technologies, including Cat M1, Bluetooth, LTE and Wi-Fi. The telco is launching ‘Track and Monitor’ for enterprises and ‘Telstra Locator’ for consumers and SMBs.

The latter will be based on a range of different tags to help individuals and small businesses track objects. The former will include a collection of products with one of the initial offerings being a solar-powered tracker designed to be installed on large, valuable business assets.

The author traveled to Telstra Vantage in Melbourne as a guest of Telstra.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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