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Press Release | 18 Aug 2021

Vodafone launches unique IoT offering to accelerate change in the UK water industry

Vodafone launches unique IoT offering to accelerate change in the UK water industry

New IoT management platform frees water companies from being locked in to purchasing equipment from just one supplier.

  • New Vodafone Internet of Things (IoT) offering enables water companies to integrate a wide range of devices and sensors into a single platform.
  • New capability frees water companies from being locked in to purchasing equipment from just one supplier.
  • Solution will make it easier for water companies to reduce wastage and improve efficiency by bringing applications such as smart metering and leak detection together on a single platform.
  • The new capability is delivered through Vodafone’s IoT.nxt platform and follows completion of a project to expand NB-IoT (Narrow Band-IoT) coverage.

Vodafone has launched a new IoT-based technology to help water companies improve monitoring and detection systems, increase efficiency, reduce wastage, and meet regulatory requirements.

One of the major challenges for the water industry is the need to prolong the life of legacy monitoring systems installed over the last 30 years, while becoming more efficient and meeting new targets.

After years of market consolidation, data is often trapped on separate systems that do not talk to each other and often have incompatible technical standards. This has resulted in the water industry facing significant overheads and operational inefficiencies due to the increasing cost of managing disparate technologies that are too expensive and disruptive to replace with modern equivalents.

The new Vodafone solution offers a single data management platform that integrates old and new sensors in one system to dramatically increase operational efficiency. The solution is device and technology agnostic, so it can bring together any device in a network. This means water companies aren’t locked into suppliers and can choose the devices that best meet their needs and those of their customers.

Vodafone gives water companies every element of an Internet of Things (IoT) solution, including devices, connectivity, data management and ongoing service.

  • Devices: Vodafone will procure new devices and sensors, including smart meters and data loggers, as well as integrate existing devices into a single management platform.
  • Connectivity: Vodafone’s NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) coverage now reaches 98% of the UK geography.
  • Data management: There is a single platform that allows the user to manage all devices, both new and legacy, and integrate all data sets. Data from all devices is securely acquired, orchestrated, stored, analysed and visualised.
  • Service: Ongoing advice and collaboration is provided to ensure customers get the greatest value from their IoT deployment, and the quickest possible return on their investment.

SES Water already uses Vodafone IoT to detect water leaks

The technology is simple to deploy and manage, allowing water companies to increase the level of surveillance and telemetry on networks to meet important regulatory and environmental standards, while ensuring greater efficiency and reduced wastage.

Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK, said: “There is growing demand on the UK water companies to increase efficiency and reduce wastage. We’ve worked closely with the water industry to identify a common problem and develop a simple solution.

“The platform has been designed with simplicity in mind – you do not have to be a connectivity expert to benefit from IoT. We are making it as easy as possible to ensure water companies can benefit from cutting-edge technology and connectivity to meet important regulatory and environmental standards.”

Damian Crawford, Head of Smart Networks and Leakage at Stantec, an engineering services company, said: “Vodafone’s smart water proposition is a game-changer for the water industry. While there is ample variety of water network telemetry equipment on the market, Vodafone can be unique in providing the water industry with one full end-to-end secure solution that is device agnostic, removing supplier lock-in and maximising existing assets.

“Vodafone’s innovative solution has set a benchmark for the UK water industry, with the aim to deliver excellent service for water companies and their customers.”

The new solution for the water industry follows the completion of a project to double the amount of NB-IoT sites. For those areas that are not covered by the NB- IoT network today, Vodafone will work with customers to upgrade and add infrastructure on a case-by-case basis. NB-IoT is designed for use cases which require devices with long-life batteries and in locations that might be difficult for traditional mobile connectivity to reach, such as underground water pipes.

– ends –

Notes to Editors

For use cases where weaker signal is sufficient (-128dBm) Vodafone’s NB- IoT network will exceed 98% geographical coverage (both indoor and outdoor) for the vast majority of regions, and 87% geographical coverage (both indoor and outdoor) for stronger signal requirements (-118dBm).

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 June 2021, we have 5G in 364 locations across Europe – 124 in the UK and 240 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

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.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

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

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Email: ukmediarelations@vodafone.com

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

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

Vodafone Limited

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

Registered in England No: 1471587