Henrik Mørck Mogensen of the company’s electricity division said communication modules and meters with integrated NB-IoT have already been developed and successfully tested. Pilot tests are planned for spring next year and a commercial solution will be available in the next 12-18 months, he added.
“After years of comprehensive analysis of new communication technologies, it is clear that NB-IoT stands head and shoulders above the rest, especially in terms of interoperability. We strongly believe that the combination of NB-IoT and our tried and tested radio mesh solution is the communication infrastructure of the future for smart electricity metering,” said Mogensen.
He added that several successful tests have been carried out on Kamstrup’s NB-IoT solution, one of which was on Vodafone’s live network in Ireland, where Kamstrup’s meters remotely connected back to the hosting centre in Denmark. Another was a multi-vendor lab test carried out in Vodafone’s open lab in Düsseldorf, Germany, on both Huawei and Ericsson radio network equipment.
According to Kamstrup, the tests have “confirmed the maturity of NB-IoT technology and proven the flexibility of the solution in terms of its ability to function with different networks”.
“A major benefit of NB-IoT is that it uses existing infrastructure that’s maintained by the telcos, so utilities have the potential to significantly reduce their capital expenditure,” said Mogensen. “Plus, due to its massive global industry backing NB-IoT and high degree of standardization, NB-IoT remains the best bet for achieving full interoperability.
“Ultimately, adding NB-IoT to our portfolio is about giving utilities the flexibility to choose the solution, which works best for them. That could be our radio mesh solution, it could be NB-IoT, or it could be a combination of both.”
“For utilities, one of the great things about the combined solution is that it’s easy to make the switch as and when you like, on whatever section of your network you wish. Whether it’s in the next year or two or further down the line, future-proof options are there for you.”
Kamstrup said it is working with several telecommunications groups globally “to find the right model for pricing and service level that will ensure that utilities can get a robust NB-IoT solution at an attractive cost”.