Smart Utilities

Connectivity technologies have been around the utilities for the past two decades, but mainly through a mix of technologies that were not optimal for interoperability or affordable for every application. Today, with the disruption of new low-power consumption and long-range connectivity with LoRa® and LoRaWAN® network technology, utilities can benefit from the same network of smart meters for automated meter data collection and other IoT devices to improve operational efficiencies and generate more efficient revenue streams with wireless monitoring of energy, gas, heat, and water use in near real-time. In 2018, more than 142.8 million new smart meters were shipped globally and, by 2024, the annual shipments should reach 210 million, representing an acceleration and an adoption rate of over 50% of the total annual volume of new shipments in the metering industry.

In most situations, utility connectivity networks require small payloads of data from daily index to every ten minutes log with data throughputs of several kilobits. Some specific use cases— like breakers for electricity, prepayment systems, or services supported by remote valve control — can justify a need for low latency. For the use cases requiring a latency of 1 second or more, LoRaWAN® can perform well enough to support the automation system requirements.

LoRaWAN® network infrastructure deployment and maintenance occurs at a much lower cost, and LoRaWAN® applications for water and gas meters can currently support a battery life of over 20 years when transmitting once per day. LoRaWAN® specification applies 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithms to provide two-layered end-to-end encryption to protect the confidentiality of the payload during the network transport and the device authentication for network security. Utilities can profit from this end-to-end security layer to protect all data communications within meters and other IoT devices connected to a LoRaWAN® public network.

Source: LoRaWAN® Vertical Markets

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