Why Utilities are choosing Smart LoRaWAN® connectivity

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www.lora-alliance.org WHY UTILITIES ARE CHOOSING SMART LoRaWAN ® CONNECTIVITY J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1 INTRODUCTION With governments increasingly recognising the need to control energy consumption and reduce wastage and inefficient consumption of vital resources, the requirement to make utilities smart is not only desirable but also the law in many countries. Although the needs of electricity, gas and water utilities are different and highly specific, each utility type requires similar foundational technologies in terms of smart devices, connectivity and data processing capability. Utilities of all types need to take a lead in deploying smart technologies to minimise wastage in ways that do not damage the customer experience and, instead, enhance customers' experience with their utility providers. It is possible that, ultimately, utility providers will be able to differentiate their offerings based on the performance and services their smart meters can support. This should be considered as an end goal of smart utility deployments. OVERVIEW: THE SMART UTILITIES REVOLUTION Utilities have been at the forefront of the smart revolution, with smart meters widely deployed in markets across the globe. However, many of these are still to be connected effectively and provide only limited benefits because of the fact that data is only valuable once it has been made possible for it to be aggregated, analysed and acted upon. Connectivity, therefore, has become the final frontier for enabling truly smart utilities. So-called smart meters can't achieve their potential intelligence and value without being reliably, robustly and cost-effectively connected. It's now better understood that connecting all the sensors, meters and controls that enable better management of utilities is complex, with many variables to take into account and, as the landscape becomes more sophisticated, and two-sided business models become more widespread, utilities recognise that easy-to-deploy, simple-to-manage, resilient, robust and cost-effective connectivity are an essential ingredient of their 'smart' plans. This paper puts forward arguments for why LoRaWAN ® can prevail as the optimal connectivity choice for enabling each smart utility sector due to their needs and the attributes of LoRaWAN technology. Traditional options such as hardwired connections, utilisation of existing cellular networks, RF Mesh or even satellite connectivity have certain flaws, whether due to the complexity of deployment or lack of interoperability, lack of sufficient coverage, particularly indoors, or because of the high installation and/ or maintenance costs. WATER Water is increasingly being recognised as a resource that needs to be protected. The International Energy Agency claims that more than 34% of pumped water is lost as non-revenue water because of tampering, theft, meter errors and faulty distribution networks.

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