Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Comsel and Telit partner on Swedish smart meter roll out

Steve Rogerson
November 13, 2018

Comsel System has deployed Telit's ME910C1-E1 NB-IoT module for smart metering applications on CK Hutchison's 3 network in Sweden.
It is one of Europe's first commercial smart metering deployments on a live LTE NB-IoT network, setting the stage for utility companies in Sweden and the rest of the world to leverage the standard's features, including decade-plus battery life and reliable connectivity deep inside buildings and underground.
Finland-based Comsel System specialises in IoT product design and development for the energy sector. It added Telit's ME910C1-E1 to one of its existing smart meter services previously based on a 3G series of the xE910 family, enabling it to connect flawlessly to 3's NB-IoT network. This trial is already driving business for Comsel, starting with Swedish utilities.
The ME910C1-E1 supports LTE-M and NB-IoT features designed to meet the needs of IoT applications such as smart metering.
Power saving mode (PSM) and extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) enable IoT devices to wake up periodically to deliver only small amounts of data to the network and then go back to sleep. This power efficiency has the potential to extend battery life beyond ten years, which is critical for smart meters that typically need to remain in service for at least a decade.
In-building penetration, with smaller coupling loss compared with other cellular standards, ensures reliable connectivity even when meters are located deep inside buildings and underground utility vaults.
"Comsel's flawless implementation of Telit's ME910C1-E1 on 3's network is a breakthrough for utilities eager to take advantage of NB-IoT," said Yossi Moscovitz, president of products at Telit. "It also highlights Telit's brand promise of delivering next-generation IoT quickly and cost-effectively. In this case, going from a 3G xE910 to NB-IoT with little more than a drop-in of the ME910C1-E1 for Comsel to capture the emerging market opportunity with the advanced state of the NB-IoT in the Nordics region of Europe."
In a 28.2 by 28.2 by 2.2mm LGA form factor, the ME910C1-E1 is a dual mode LTE-M and NB-IoT member in Telit's xE910 module family. This common form factor, electrical interfaces and programming interfaces enable IoT vendors to upgrade their existing 2G and 3G xE910-based products with the ME910C1-E1 quickly and inexpensively.
"In this project, Comsel System delivered Zodiac smart metering terminals with support for NB-IoT/M1," said Kristian Heimonen, CEO at Comsel System. “In addition to the NB-IoT/M1-terminals, Comsel also delivered Zodiac 3G/4G-terminals for smart energy metering. This gives the customer a service level agreement of up to 100% and has a high degree of security. The Telit ME910C1-E1 module is included in these products.”
Heimonen said the tests with the NB-IoT and M1-terminals have been both successful and interesting.
“It is delightful to explore the advantages of using NB-IoT within our area of knowledge, and we are proud to be among the first to utilise NB-IoT for smart energy metering," Heimonen said. “We strongly believe in the advantages of NB-IoT for smart metering applications. Furthermore, it feels good that our customer recognises the economic benefit of choosing our solution. We have a long co-operation with Telit and look forward to future collaboration. And, our co-operation with 3 has been very smooth, and we look forward to our future.
Johan Johansson, CEO at 3, added: "NB-IoT will make a real difference for internet of things. Historically, we've been in the forefront with new services, and once again we are the first with an important innovation. This is just the beginning of the avalanche of connections and services that this new technology will enable."
And Göran Brandt, head of IoT and M2M for 3 Sweden, said: "We performed field tests together with Comsel System for a couple of months in this smart metering project in Skåne. The tests, which leveraged 3's NB-IoT network guard-band implementation, showed that coverage increased dramatically for locations where it is normally weak like in basements and inaccessible locations in sparsely populated areas. It is very interesting to see how the NB-IoT guard-band technology can be used to better results in this context."