In the US, the Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) partnered with IoT network solutions firm DragonWave to upgrade its communications infrastructure.Under the partnership, KUB will install DragonWave’s IoT network technology, ‘Harmony Enhanced MC backhaul’, to improve its communications in the electricity, gas, water and wastewater sectors.
The project is expected to help KUB to improve its customer services to some 400,000 consumers in Knoxville and seven surrounding counties.
“This deployment will increase available bandwidth, reduce overall network operation and maintenance (O&M) costs and improve reliability of the overall field network,” according to a company statement.
Peter Cappiello, CEO of Future Technologies at KUB, added: "By selecting Dragonwave's Harmony Enhanced MC for our bid, we were able to reach and exceed the capacity and reliability values required using 3' antennas instead of comparison examples that would have required 6' antennas. Each 1' of antenna reduction decreased the potential for new tower requirements (CAPEX), as well as the re-occurring costs associated with larger dishes (OPEX), which made the decision simple for KUB."
The technology will allow KUB to shift from its current fiber/wireline network to a hybrid wireless IoT network to allow data telemetry between its grid assets and control centres.
Peter Allen, CEO of DragonWave, reiterated: "Harmony Enhanced MC is to deliver the backbone for internet of things (IoT) networks through its ability to re-use existing infrastructure locations with its market leading technology to keep antenna sizes as small as possible to allow for installation at these points."
IoT network and smart meter rollout
The news follows KUB's launch of a $54 million programme to install smart electric meters in East Tennessee under efforts to improve management of its water, gas and electricity distribution networks.
Under the smart meters programme, KUB said it plans to install some 400,000 AMI units between July 2016 through to 2020 to reduce the occurrences and duration of power outages.
The smart meters will provide the utility company with real-time notifications regarding the status of its grid networks.
The AMI project will also improve KUB’s revenue collection through the curbing of non-revenue water, gas and electricity incurred via theft and leakages. [Canada optimises municipal operations with new IoT network].
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