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Improving customer experience with IoT

By installing Internet of Things smart meters within their network, we’re helping Northumbrian Water improve their network performance

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Better service is in the pipeline for Northumbrian Water customers

IoT technology is providing utility companies with an increasing number of transformational opportunities. New ways to improve service, cut costs, and gather better data more effectively. Here we examine one such project, helping a large water provider deliver a better customer experience using IoT technology.

We’ve just secured a contract to deliver an Internet of Things (IoT) project that will help Northumbrian Water improve their water network performance.

Our low-power, long-distance network, and its data capabilities will deliver operational insights, so the water provider can better understand how their water network is performing. In turn, this will enable them to enhance its water quality and address issues like water leakage.

We’re installing around 150 sensors across the utility's network in Sunderland to gather data on a range of factors, including water flow, pressure and quality. The data will be transmitted via our Low-Power, Long-Range, Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN). It was designed to support long-life, battery-powered IoT devices over long distances. Once the data is transmitted, it’s processed and visualised by BT.

Nigel Watson, Group Information Services Director for Northumbrian Water, said: “[this project] represents a real step forwards towards the smart water network of the future, transforming the level of insight we have into our network’s operations and driving improvements for customers. We’re keen to understand whether it can be rolled out across our entire North East network to deliver benefits for all of our customers.”

Chris Sims, our Managing Director - Strategy, Marketing and Digital, said: “We are really excited to be deploying our IoT platform and LoRaWAN network to provide the connectivity and insight needed to deliver a truly integrated smart water network for Northumbrian Water. It’s a great example of how the Internet of Things can be used to deliver a better experience to customers. And with 5G on the horizon, which will provide benefits such as lower latency, higher speeds and greater reliability, we’re thrilled to work with one of the most innovative water companies in the UK to fully realise the transformational benefits of IoT."

We’re dedicated to bringing innovative IoT solutions to market, using our expertise in devices, connectivity and platforms. The Northumbrian Water smart water project is one of a number of recent IoT deployments across our Smart Cities, utilities, transport, logistics and retail sectors.