Hrvatski Telekom, a leading provider of digital services, and Đakovački vodovod successfully piloted the project of smart remote reading of water consumption (smart). The project tested equipment consisting of a water meter and a communication device that collects water consumption and flow data, communication NB-IoT technology that sends the collected data to a central system for processing and a central system or platform for data collection analysis and visualization - ComWater.
The use of NB-IoT communication infrastructure for water supply and other public city services enables reliable and secure mobile communication between the device and the platform, excellent signal penetration indoors and low power consumption with expected battery life in an IoT device of up to ten years.
ComWater platform developed within the HT Group is a modern cloud solution that provides quick insight and overview of water supply infrastructure at any time and without fieldwork, loss analysis, and detection of emergencies within the distribution network and ensures data security, speed, and quality processing, and continuous customer support.
During the pilot, 200 measuring points were installed with all the necessary equipment for data collection and exchange from metering points to the ComWater platform. After the installation of the equipment and testing of the communication, the management of the system of remote reading of water consumption according to the data arriving in real-time is ensured. Receiving real-time information allows for a timely response to all events such as overspending, sudden breakdowns, and cracks, making remediation of such events targeted and cost-effective. This optimizes the utilization of the distribution network capacity, which significantly affects the extension of the infrastructure life cycle. Billing is in line with actual consumption according to the read data, which achieves greater transparency and improved user experience. The final part of the solution is the application itself, which combines data for monitoring the efficiency of water supply systems in one place, which are necessary for the sustainability of water supply systems operations and resource management. All of the above provides Đakovački vodovod with a basis for easier decision-making related to improving the water meter reading system with the ultimate goal of saving and reducing water losses in its network, potential capacity expansion, and digitalization, and automation of the entire process.
"Hrvatski Telekom supports the digital transformation of Croatia and with a wide range of smart solutions enables cities to improve the way they work and provide services to their citizens. It was through the pilot project with Đakovački vodovod that we once again confirmed the benefits of digitalization as a necessary precondition for the smart transformation of cities, and thus a more sustainable future for the entire community. Equipment and technologies are ready for the implementation of the full range and can fully meet the future needs of customers for remote reading of energy consumption,” said Ivan Kuhar, Director of Business Development of ICT Services.
NB-IoT communication infrastructure is available for other services that the smart city offers to its citizens and other entities, such as smart parking, public city bicycle systems, and smart lighting.
"Đakovački vodovod is satisfied with the results of the pilot project of smart remote reading of water consumption. NB-IoT technology allows us to quickly implement the entire network without raising the infrastructure, which in the future we will certainly consider an advantage to other communication technologies (Lora, WM-BUS, etc.). It is also important to note as an advantage the dense network of existing base stations that have already been upgraded with NB-IoT technology. They provide excellent signal levels in the most unfavorable radio communication conditions, such as deep water meters with metal covers or water meters on underground floors. The time will show the battery life of the terminal devices, which can be configured through the project and is inversely proportional to the sampling density of the measurements. It is this configuration that allows the user to decide whether they want real-time data for some specific purposes or longer battery life for monthly consumption readings. Using the ComWater system in this pilot, we confirmed expectations about the capabilities of the central reading system and gained quick insight into network status and leak detection at users, thus reducing overall water losses, protecting users from increased costs, and ensuring faster, better, and more accurate billing for our services. Our vision is to use our systems to provide our customers with an online insight into consumption from anywhere in our world. This completes the entire cycle of communication with the user to be transparent and digital, which is a prerequisite for digital transformation in the service area of Đakovački vodovod and throughout Croatia,” said the director of Đakovački vodovod Ivan Kočiš.