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Planet | 25 Jul 2019

Vodafone and South East Water trial narrowband IoT solution to help reduce water leaks

Vodafone and South East Water trial narrowband IoT solution to help reduce water leaks

Vodafone announced today that it is working with South East Water on a pilot that could revolutionise how the water industry detects and prevents leaks. The pilot is timely: water shortages are said to threaten England within 25 years and Ofwat is requiring that all water companies reduce water leakage by 15% by 2025. The trial, now underway in Kent, will run for a year and is the first in the UK to include Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) as part of a smart water network.

Vodafone and South East Water worked with partners to develop and connect specialist digital water meters, sensors and acoustic loggers on underground mains water pipes via Vodafone’s NB-IoT network. Data will be collected and transmitted across the system; and advanced analytics will be used to monitor readings and alert South East Water immediately in the event of a leak. Acoustic loggers ‘listen’ for escaping water within the network to determine when leaks have occurred and to pinpoint the precise location.

NB-IoT operates within a very narrow radio band frequency. This means it can provide wider coverage and deeper penetration than traditional networks – even underground or within buildings. It also operates at low power so that batteries within IoT devices in the field, such as sensors, can last up to ten years. This combination ensures that NB-IoT solutions are more sustainable and less expensive to install and run than current alternatives utilising 4G or fixed line networks.

Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business, said: “This is a really exciting project. NB-IoT technology has the power to transform the utilities sector. It provides a more accurate way of identifying and preventing leaks, helping companies like South East Water meet important regulatory and environmental standards. It is a perfect example of how technology can be used to create a more sustainable future and manage what is an increasingly precious commodity.”

Dr Simon Earl, South East Water’s Operations Director, said: “This trial is likely to revolutionise how we detect and prevent water leaks. The solution has the potential to alert us to the smallest leak – in either our or our customers’ pipes – as soon as it occurs; and could even enable us to predict and prevent pipeline failure before it happens. This has the potential to reduce the water we take from the environment, further minimise interruptions to supply and increase the resilience of the service we provide to our customers.”

About Vodafone UK

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of September 2020, we have 5G in 54 locations in the UK and 193 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

In September 2020, leading mobile benchmarking company, umlaut, named Vodafone as London’s best network for 5G. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population. And in October 2020, Vodafone was named Network Provider of the Year by readers of leading technology advice website, Trusted Reviews.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

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