In the US, meter manufacturer Sensus has this week announced the release of its new 4G/LTE radio module for utility distribution automation (DA) devices that use 4G AT&T GSM/GPRS cellular networks.
The new 4G/LTE radio module allows customers to remotely communicate with a range of endpoint devices (capacitor bank controllers, reclosers, and fault current indicators) in the field, that support network optimisation applications.
"Customers now have the flexibility to choose among cellular networks, the FlexNet system or a hybrid of the two for their distribution automation applications," the company said in a statement.
Sensus' Flexnet system is a long-range radio network, that provides a communications infrastructure that enables smart cities.
Greg Myers, vice president of marketing at Sensus, commented: "The market requirement is for a robust cellular network solution with maximum service life.
"We are continuing our customer-first commitment by providing support for our 200 customers who rely on cellular networks for their distribution automation endpoints."
Giving utilities the choice of using cellular networks, the Sensus Flextnet communication network or a combination of the two for distribution automation applications, allows for the delivery of "an effective solution to cover their service area".
Kamstrup and Vodafone cellular water solution
In other recent cellular metering news, at the 2015 GSMA Mobile World Congress, Denmark’s Kamstrup A/S and Vodafone partnered to showcase a low-cost meter reading technology for water utilities.
The Cellular Internet of Things (CIoT) water meter reading solution is made possible by the Internet of Things, which connects objects into existing wireless communications systems so they may share data with one another.
The solution leverages existing communications infrastructure, such as Vodafone’s telecom networks, making it possible for utilities to receive real-time data on customer water consumption from water meters.
The communication option increases the intelligence of the entire water system by collecting data and connecting it with other aspects of their operations, such as water production, distribution, and billing, said Kampstrup in a statement.
Per Asmussen, CEO of Kamstrup, commented: “The Internet of Things is opening a new realm of possibilities for water utilities to improve their efficiencies.
“We see it as an opportunity for utilities to be more connected than ever to consumption data and to be able to apply this data to all aspects of their operations.”
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