In the rapidly developing field of smart metering, choosing the best communication network for smart meters is essential. It’s crucial for submetering businesses looking to reduce operating expenses and maximize efficiency. However, it can be difficult to make an informed choice given the abundance of options available. These options include NB-IoT, WM-bus, and LoRaWAN. With the world increasingly adopting smart IoT solutions, submetering enterprises, in the face of rising smart IoT adoption, must opt for robust communication networks to maintain competitiveness.
LoRa technology (long-range, low-power data transmission) is the driving force behind LoRaWAN or Long Range Low Power Wide Area Networking protocol. This protocol extends LoRa technology, providing additional functionality such as message routing, device management, and security. Which makes it appropriate for IoT (Internet of Things) applications like smart metering.
Among the available technologies, the LoRa WAN stands out for its exceptional range, low power consumption, and cost-effectiveness. LoRa WAN’s ability to penetrate dense urban environments and reach underground installations makes it an ideal choice for submetering applications. Its long-range capabilities connect even the most remote meters, while its low power requirement extends battery life. By leveraging LoRa WAN, submetering companies can offer smart ultrasonic water meter solutions that are reliable and also sustainable.
NB-IoT: While NB-IoT offers significant advantages for submetering, such as strong data capacity and good coverage,
operating expenses and the availability of cellular services can greatly impact its viability. This is because it depends on the operator’s infrastructure. NB-IoT can handle data over long distances and offer extensive coverage, especially in rural regions. However, the associated greater energy demands and operating expenses may offset the benefits. Submetering enterprises considering smart metering solutions must weigh the technology’s potential for wider connectivity against its disadvantages, which include higher prices and energy consumption. Additionally, NB-IoT can deplete a smart meter’s internal battery more quickly than LoRaWAN.
WM-bus: Meter reading applications predominantly use Wireless M-Bus, especially in Europe. However, its range is insufficient for widespread submetering deployments. Its functionality mostly limits short-range communication in crowded spaces, like apartment buildings. It uses a wired mesh network, posing challenges for scaling and deploying in retrofit scenarios. Although it has a strong presence in Europe, large-scale submetering deployments that require greater network flexibility and coverage may find it less suitable due to its restricted range and scalability compared to LoRa WAN.
LoRa-based network for submetering offers businesses a powerful tool to reduce costs and boost efficiency, but its benefits extend far beyond these initial advantages. Here are some more benefits of LoRaWAN.
The utility smart metering industry continues to evolve, underscoring the importance of selecting the right communication technology. LoRa WAN emerges as a compelling choice for water and heat submetering, offering a unique combination of range, battery efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. For submetering companies looking to deploy smart IoT solutions, LoRa WAN provides a scalable, reliable, and sustainable option that meets the demands of modern utility management.
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