Bundaberg in Queensland will be home to a 12-month trial of ‘smart’ water meters.
The trial will use smart meters from WaterGroup. The company's ultrasonic ‘NUmeter’ uses Telstra’s Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) network to communicate. WaterGroup launched the meter in January. It has a 10+ year battery life, integrated water-flow and temperature sensors.
NB-IoT suits IoT applications that involve low data rates.
According to WaterGroup, four water utilities are trialling the meter, including Sydney Water.
“We are doing a 12 month trial with WaterGroup’s NB-IoT enabled smart water meters, to explore the benefits of incorporating smart technology in to the region’s water meter reading infrastructure,” said councillor Jason Bartels, Bundaberg Regional Council’s water and wastewater portfolio spokesperson.
“The ability to provide a customer portal through which residents can manage their own water consumption was also a factor in choosing this metering solution,” Bartels said.
“The data that can be collected from smart meters is invaluable from an operational perspective. The data from the smart meters is transmitted to a central point and, if rolled out permanently across the region, would mean manual meter reading would no longer be required,” the councillor said.
Telstra announced earlier this year that it had begun rolling out NB-IoT coverage across major Australian cities and a number of regional towns. The telco also offers Cat M1 support for IoT devices.
In September, Telstra said that a number of utilities had been trialling a ‘Digital Water Metering’ IoT solution on the telco’s network. Telstra’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, told the company’s Vantage conference.
Telstra recently revealed that it will be the exclusive Australian telco partner distributing the Arduino MKR NB 1500 IoT developer board.