Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

French water utility and Glen Canyon take Sigfox to heart

Steve Rogerson
November 17, 2015
 
Sogedo, France’s fourth-largest water-distribution company, is to implement an array of service innovations over the Sigfox IoT network. And California-based Glen Canyon plans to connect a million meters to the Sigfox network in the coming year.
 
The Sogedo offerings include automatic remote water-meter reading and real-time analysis of usage data for customers.
 
Primary concerns for local authorities includeimprovingoperations and network efficiency, as well as promoting more sustainable use of water resources by users. Sogedo is convinced that efficient use of water networks requires immediate and responsive information management stemming from full visibility of system operations for local water providers.
 
Using Sigfox’s dedicated IoT network to collect reliable and real-time data from water pipes, water meters and other equipment, Sogedo lets local authorities monitor their networks in real time, optimise infrastructure management thanks to district metering areas and respond immediately to emergency situations such as pipeline leaks.Real-time access to usage data also allows users to manage their water consumption and their expenses.
 
“Our partnership with Sigfox enables quick implementation of smart-utility features across our entire system, which will improve performance of water-service providers and make them more efficient and competitive,” said Nicolas Vivian, technical director of Sogedo. “In addition, Sigfox’s easily integrated connectivity and excellent performance indoors enable any water meter set to be installed on the water network to transmit its data.”
 
Already operated or being deployed in the USA and ten European countries, Sigfox’s network does not require any additional infrastructure deployment for its customers. As a truly open system, Sigfox works with radio module and smart-metering manufacturers, allowing any utility-service provider to create and offer innovative services.
 
“The vast majority of smart-utility devices that will be connected to the IoT will require very simple, economical and low-energy connectivity to communicate their data,” said Stuart Lodge, Sigfox executive vice president. “Sogedo is another strong example of a company that carefully weighed the alternatives for efficiently and easily bringing the benefits of the internet of things to their customers, and chose the most appropriate solution available.”
 
Glen Canyon already has installed more than 20 million meters in China, Africa and the USA, supported by its AMI, or advanced metering infrastructure. As a critical part of smart-utility systems, AMI provides regular, two-way communications between smart meters and energy providers, which allows them to monitor usage closely and let their customers moderate their consumption according to cost at the time of use.
 
Glen Canyon’s Nexgen smart meters are certified Sigfox Ready.
 
“The Sigfox network is an obvious choice for Glen Canyon’s low-cost, plug-and-play smart meters, because it is fully in line with our commitment to provide highly functional but affordable smart meters to utilities around the world,” said Glen Canyon CEO John Heibel. “We designed our meters to provide valuable, real-time data at the lowest cost possible, and the Sigfox network enables that better than any alternative. Plus, having tested all LPWA solutions, we have found that Sigfox clearly outperformed other solutions in regards to cost of radio modems, deep indoor penetration and reliability.”
 
The agreement, following Sigfox’s network rollout in San Francisco and ten European countries, underscores the company’s ability to work with diverse partners – including national network operators, governments, SMEs and startups – to bring its dedicated IoT network to multiple users around the world. 
 
“Glen Canyon offers electricity providers an inexpensive, low-energy and multi-functional smart meter that can rapidly expand implementation of smart grids on every continent,” said Lodge. “This is the beginning of a partnership that we expect to help establish smart grids in many countries, as the Sigfox network is deployed worldwide, and it demonstrates how the network can help innovative companies grow their business.”