Driving expanded network coverage in water sector

15th July 2020
Alex Lynn

The Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN) has formed a new strategic liaison with the LoRa Alliance to advance ‘smart’, data-driven solutions and expanded network coverage in water sectors, and drive adoption of the LoRaWAN open standard in the water metering sector. 

This agreement will build off of each organisation’s vibrant membership pool and promote Internet of Things (IoT) deployments for smart network coverage. As LoRaWAN technology further expands its global footprint, utilities broadly - and water metering in particular - remain the leading application for low power wide area networking (LPWAN) technologies and will occupy the largest market segment over the next five years, a market study by IoT Analytics shows. Representing 30% of the installed base by 2025, utilities counts by far the most use cases and will continue to do so.

“Given the significant market opportunity, our two organisations will work together to drive a number of marketing initiatives with members,” said Donna Moore, CEO and Chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance. “This work will strengthen the ecosystem and bring valuable solutions to utility companies and public utilities’ end customers across the globe.”

The benefits that IoT and LoRaWAN connectivity can bring to the water metering market are significant. LoRaWAN’s ability to communicate over long distances and through barriers (e.g., concrete, underground) at low cost per connection make it ideal for metering applications. A key applications for utilities includes access to real-time data, which enables leak identification, conserves natural resources and saves end-users money. Additionally, utilities can monitor water quality to ensure consumer safety, provide proper water distribution, plan for water availability through peak periods, and conduct billing management.

Commenting on the collaboration, LoRaWAN Ambassador Gary Stuebing from member company Cisco, stated: “As water metering is one of the leading use cases for LoRaWAN, there is a strong value proposition for utilities to benefit from this liaison between the two ecosystems to enhance the digitisation of water utilities.”

Amir Cahn, Executive Director of the SWAN Forum, added: “We are thrilled to partner with the LoRa Alliance and accelerate wireless integration that drives innovation across the global water sector, especially as remote working becomes the new reality and utilities seek continuity of operations.”

The two organisations recently collaborated on a webinar titled “LoRaWAN Solutions for Smart Water Management,” featuring several LoRa Alliance members and SWAN Council Member Fred Royan, VP of Sustainability and Circular Economy at Frost & Sullivan. The webinar focused on how the LoRaWAN standard can be used to manage water metering, leak detection, water quality, and more.

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