Vodafone’s latest IoT solution aims to end water industry stagnation

Vodafone has launched a new IoT solution that aims to “accelerate change” in the water industry.

While many industries are embracing digital transformation – enabled by Industry 4.0 technologies – the water industry has largely remained stubbornly stagnant.

Anne Sheehan, Business Director at Vodafone UK, said:

“There is growing demand on the UK water companies to increase efficiency and reduce wastage. We’ve worked closely with the water industry to identify a common problem and develop a simple solution.The platform has been designed with simplicity in mind – you do not have to be a connectivity expert to benefit from IoT. We are making it as easy as possible to ensure water companies can benefit from cutting-edge technology and connectivity to meet important regulatory and environmental standards.”

Legacy monitoring systems that have been installed over the last 30 years have created significant challenges in delivering efficiency improvements. These systems are often siloed with data that is trapped in them and cannot “talk” to each other due to incompatible standards.

Replacing these legacy systems entirely would be costly and disruptive. Instead, Vodafone believes it has a better solution by offering a single device and technology-agnostic data management platform that can integrate both old and new sensors.

Vodafone is promising to provide four key components to water companies:

  • Devices: Vodafone will procure new devices and sensors, including smart meters and data loggers, as well as integrate existing devices into a single management platform.
  • Connectivity: Vodafone’s narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) coverage now reaches 98% of the UK geography.
  • Data management: There is a single platform that allows the user to manage all devices, both new and legacy, and integrate all data sets. Data from all devices is securely acquired, orchestrated, stored, analysed and visualised.
  • Service: Ongoing advice and collaboration is provided to ensure customers get the greatest value from their IoT deployment, and the quickest possible return on their investment.

Damian Crawford, Head of Smart Networks and Leakage at Stantec, commented:

“Vodafone’s smart water proposition is a game-changer for the water industry. While there is ample variety of water network telemetry equipment on the market, Vodafone can be unique in providing the water industry with one full end-to-end secure solution that is device agnostic, removing supplier lock-in and maximising existing assets.Vodafone’s innovative solution has set a benchmark for the UK water industry, with the aim to deliver excellent service for water companies and their customers.”

Last month, our sister publication IoT News reported that Vodafone had completed a project to double the number of its NB-IoT sites. Vodafone says that it will work with any customers not currently covered to upgrade and add infrastructure on a case-by-case basis.