Sigfox SA appointed to support South Africa’s transition to smart water meters

5th June 2024

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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National Treasury has selected Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity service Sigfox South Africa’s network to underpin South Africa’s new smart water meter ecosystem.

The tender, commonly known as “RT29” awarded to various system integrators, will see existing meters adapted or replaced to become smart meters to improve revenue collection and service delivery.

All the new meters will run on the nationwide Sigfox IoT network.

“The fact that the National Treasury has entrusted Sigfox to monitor and support over 15-million smart water meters in the country underlines how robust the technology is. We expect this to be a catalyst to further grow our local IoT and system integrator ecosystem,” said Sigfox South Africa CEO Greg Rood.

Sigfox was selected to support the smart water meters owing to the extensive network coverage, robustness of the technology, low power consumption and the service-level agreements associated with Sigfox, which enhances reliability and delivers unprecedented return-on-investment for municipalities.

Further, the range and penetration of the advanced Sigfox ultra-narrowband signal makes it the ideal connectivity choice to reach meters that are often installed in challenging environments.

Sigfox 0G is the preferred technology for utilities worldwide and has an established track record of supporting large commercial utility deployments in South Africa, said Rood.

The Sigfox SA network already covers 91% of the South African population, and should there be a need to extend or densify the network, this can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively.

Sigfox technology also overcomes potential power challenges – smart water meters typically lack access to external power and rely on batteries – as its low power network technology means a device can run on the same battery for over 10 years.

“The technology has an extremely low power reliance. The smart meter devices are sealed and waterproof, with batteries built in. Our devices will last for over 10 years at one reading a day, which far exceeds the three-year lifespan stipulated on the tender,” Rood explained.

Owing to this extended lifespan, he said that it is practically an ‘install and forget’ scenario, which cuts costs and optimises resources.

Further, Sigfox’s benefits also include ease of installation, accuracy and reliability, and the network does not rely on WiFi or fibre.

“The transition to smart meters supported by Sigfox South Africa will mean improved collections for municipalities, real-time and accurate billing for customers, and improved management of increasingly scarce water resources,” Rood concluded.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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