The TIM Group, through its digital centre, Olivetti, along with Società Metropolitana Acque Torino S.p.A (SMAT) and Huawei will be deploying the new NB-IoT (Narrow Band Internet of Things) cellular technology for measuring water consumption and optimising management of water supply networks.
The companies believe that the deployment is a "fundamental step in the process of digital transformation of the entire water sector."
According to a release, the first meters having the technology which will send measurements automatically over live NB-IoT networks are already in operation in Turin, Italy.
The release adds that the new partnership between Olivetti and SMAT allows for the pooling of capabilities to apply the new cellular technology in the water field, and creates synergies for optimising the new IT platforms and new operating processes to achieve consumption monitoring in real-time.
The primary objective of the partnership is to validate the data transmitted by the new technology.
NB IoT comms for 'hard to reach' meters
The first step in the deployment of the NB-IoT technology will identify “problematic” locations - meters that are hard to reach by radio and by the network
monitoring points for water transportation and distribution.
The next step consists of collecting performance data through connectivity and collecting information useful for implementing the corrective actions necessary.
Olivetti and SMAT are currently analysing the performance of NB-IoT connectivity under normal operating conditions, assessing instrumentation, processes
and operation in the field.
Paolo Romano, managing director of SMAT, said: "A part of the development activities at our Research Centre is aimed at optimisation of the 'intelligent systems', providing them with the capacity to provide information in real-time to the 'advanced' remote control station, monitor the rate of water fed into the networks and produce an estimate of water demands for the following hours. The collaboration with Olivetti, therefore, constitutes a further building block in the development of these activities, having as an offshoot an improvement in the service provided to users”.