Implementing NB-IoT in infrastructure and supply enterprises.
The Internet of things is gradually being introduced into everyday life - from logistics to housing and communal services. And this applies not only to "smart sensors" in apartments but also to the automation of sales companies.
Fortune Business Insights estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) market will reach $1.46 trillion by 2027. Analysts estimated the average annual growth rate of the market at 24.9%. But it is much more interesting to observe not only the dynamics of growth but also the changes in segments within the IoT.
The share of IoT devices connected via 2G and 3G networks has been declining since 2019, giving way to the segment of data transmission over 4G/5G networks. But, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report, by 2027, 51% of all cellular IoT connections will be provided by other technologies - NB-IoT and Cat-M1. They allow you to connect a large number of low-cost devices with long battery life. The NB-IoT standard is preferred for devices and sensors that transmit data from time to time.
Already now, NB-IoT devices are widely used in medical devices, logistics, and environmental monitoring, as well as in the digitalization of housing and communal services, namely, in the digitalization of water supply systems.
The study notes the following growth factors:
- management of operating costs at a new level, satisfying the demand for quality water supply and sanitation services;
- conditions for mandatory digitalization of repaired and modernized facilities;
- the growing digitalization of the utility sector as a whole and the stimulation of the development of the concept of "Smart Cities" by the state.
All water utilities and resource-supplying organizations in one way or another are engaged in dispatching and online monitoring of resources. However, these processes require massive data collection. And this is where IoT technologies can help organizations.
What IoT technologies can be used by water utilities and distribution companies?
Most often, IoT solutions in the housing and utility sector are used to transmit location data and meter readings, access control, and equipment status. In most cases, many devices transmit small amounts of data. Since there are hundreds and thousands of objects from which it is necessary to obtain information, this dictates its own requirements:
- devices should be simple and inexpensive;
- they should not require frequent recharging or changing the battery;
At the same time, the communication channel must have a high penetrating ability in order to transmit data from hard-to-reach places.
Several technologies are used for data transmission, but the most promising is NB-IoT (Narrow band Internet of things, narrow-band Internet of things), a type of LPWAN technology (Low-power Wide-area Network, energy-efficient long-range network). There are several reasons for this.
Unlike most other LP-Wan networks, NB-IoT can be deployed on the infrastructure and equipment of existing LTE, which reduces implementation costs.
The technology operates in the licensed spectrum, that is, it is protected from interference, while this range is low-frequency, which ensures high signal penetration. This is one of the most important criteria for digitalization and implementation of IoT technologies by water utilities, heating networks, and other resource supplying enterprises since the places for installing meters and sensors are located in the basements of houses, wells, below ground level - in general, where there is not always a regular mobile connection.
NB-IoT devices have low power consumption, which ensures a service life without replacing batteries for up to 10 years.
Thus, NB-IoT networks allow you to set up an uninterrupted operation of IoT solutions in any industry where there is a need for automated collection and transmission of information - from agriculture and industry to retail and logistics.
Why IoT is getting cheaper and more convenient for business?
Since NB-IoT allows you to connect client devices without requiring the construction of additional base stations and communication channels, this can significantly reduce project time and costs for its implementation. In addition, operators can analyze customer traffic consumption and optimize offers for customers.