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Sigfox helps WaterGroup detect leaks

Steve Rogerson
July 26, 2017



Australian smart water meter company WaterGroup has signed a five-year partnership with Thinxtra so large water users can use its Sigfox network to detect water leaks. This should help them avoid wasting millions of litres of water while saving thousands of dollars each month.
 
The announcement of the partnership comes after WaterGroup spent 24 months researching and developing multiple LPWAN (low power wide area network) wireless technologies that will work best with smart water devices. Through LPWAN connectivity, devices and sensors such as smart water meters can reliably and securely transmit data over long distances, at previously unachievable low cost points.
 
“Sigfox technology became an obvious choice for use as a part of our smart water metering,” said Guenter Hauber-Davidson, managing director of WaterGroup. “In the past, the cost of connectivity was a constraint but now, with this simple-to-use, large-scale and low-cost network, not only councils but also any large water users can start monitoring their water within weeks at low cost.”
 
By joining forces with Thinxtra, WaterGroup’s smart metering systems will be able to capture and send data on water use via the Sigfox wireless network.
 
“Our smart water meter systems are so innovative they can detect leaks almost as soon as they occur,” said Hauber-Davidson. “For example, one of our customers, Fairfield Council, is saving $4500 a month as a result of early leak detection. Another customer, Australian National University, saved over $300,000 within six weeks of our smart meter system being installed.”
 
The smart water meters also help overcome one of the major challenges facing large users of water which is the shock they get when they realise that their quarterly water bill has gone up enormously due to a costly leak or large unauthorised use.
 
Thinxtra CEO Loic Barancourt said WaterGroup had been chosen as a partner because it was one of the leading providers of systems to the smart water meter market in Australia with a reputation of delivering tangible business outcomes to its enterprise and utility customers.
 
“By joining forces with WaterGroup we will be combining their smarts in water meters with the benefits of Sigfox, the leading wireless technology for low cost and low power IoT applications, to meet demand from councils,” said Barancourt.
 
Thinxtra wants its Sigfox network to cover 95% of Australian population by the end of the year. The network currently covers 71%.
 
“Thinxtra is becoming the low power wide area network of choice in Australasia for the internet of things,” said Barancourt. “Thinxtra makes it simple and economical for objects to connect, thanks to the nationwide Sigfox networks we have already deployed and are operating. By deploying complementary Sigfox network coverage on demand, we are paving the way for any councils or businesses to embrace IoT technology and deploy solutions such as WaterGroup’s smart water meter systems to reduce their costs.”