ONE MILLION WATER METERS to be read wirelessly by LoRaWAN in the UK


UK broadband and digital service provider Connexin has won a deal with utility supplier Essex & Suffolk Water to manage the roll-out of smart meters across the Essex and Suffolk supply regions, to the northeast of London. The advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) framework contract has been presented as the "largest of its kind in the UK water utility sector", and follows similar deals for Connexin with Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water.

Connexin uses non-cellular LoRaWAN as the IoT connectivity technology in its meter setups. Essex & Suffolk Water wants all water meters to be classified as 'smart' by 2035. Connexin is to deploy a LoRaWAN network for connectivity between the smart meters and the head-end system (HES), supplied by Ireland-based meter management firm Temetra, where hourly water meter readings are analyzed, rendered, and available for action and response.

Connexin will install 164,000 water meters from meter giant Itron by the end of 2025, rising to 612,000 by 2030, and a million by 2035. Connexin stated its LoRaWAN network will provide connectivity for "up to one million households and businesses" by the end of the period, after 11 years. It touted the provision as an "end-to-end meter-as-service" solution, also supporting Ofwat's per capita consumption (PCC) and leakage targets.

Essex & Suffolk Water calculates that around 18 percent of its domestic customers have a leak at their properties, impacting their bills. Connexin said: "This will increase visibility of usage and help customers take control of their bills. The Connexin network will support the water company in identifying and reducing household leakage across Essex and Suffolk; reducing the amount of water wasted across some of the country's most water-stressed regions.

The contract will run for up to 15 years, with a fixed term of five years initially, and an option to extend for a further 10 years. In the UK, Ofwat's new Asset Management Period (8; AMP8) starts in April in 2025, and obliges all water companies in England and Wales to raise efficiency and service levels. The logic is to harden the water industry's commitments towards climate change, plus to customers.

Gary Adams, head of the smart transformation programme at Essex & Suffolk Water, said: "We are passionate about the environment and our targets to reduce both consumption and leakage, creating a more water-efficient system for our customers. Our rollout of smart metering will support this and provide valuable insight in shaping how the industry can better understand where water is used, and make sure we're looking after it for the future.

"Through this smart connectivity, we will be able to detect customer side leakage more precisely and quicker than before supporting our customers in keeping their bills as low as possible. The hourly data will also allow us to work with our customers to demonstrate how much water they are using and provide guidance on how to reduce it to help improve people's lives and safeguard our environment."

Dan Preece, vice president of water and utilities at Connexin, said: "We have proved once again we are a leader in smart water infrastructure. Securing the largest UK water metering contract is a commitment to the well-being of our communities and the conservation of our most precious resource. Together we are paving the way for a more connected, efficient, and responsible world - one drop at a time."

ByJames Blackman

February 2, 2024

RCR Wireless News

X-TELIA is a Canadian technology company specializing in Internet of Things and LoRaWAN solutions. It supports companies and cities that want to deploy wireless applications based on highly secure, low-cost and low-power long-range connectivity. X-TELIA offers solutions that have been proven elsewhere in the world, as well as leading-edge expertise to facilitate the shift to the Internet of Things. X-TELIA also operates a next-generation wireless network dedicated to the Internet of Things, specifically designed to support new applications that make cities smarter, industry more efficient and citizens safer.

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