Transforming Critical Infrastructure with Massive IoT

Massive IoT can transform how businesses effectively deliver products, evolve the customer experience, enable innovation, and create new business models.

Lighted streets have an important benefit: increasing lighting decreases violence, as demonstrated in a study in New York. When lighted poles were installed on certain streets, there was a 36 percent decrease in criminal activity.

Today, the use of IoT applications offers even more advantages to cities employing the network, including enhancing the feeling of safety, offering benefits such as energy savings, performance analysis and metrification, predictive maintenance, and decreases in light pollution, environmental damage, and public expenses.

Sparing natural resources

With global warming an increasingly important topic and, given discussions at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-26), it can be said that the Internet of Things is an important tool in situations that demand a better handling of natural resources.

Solutions with connected devices are presently able to do end-to-end analysis, from the water supply to customers' homes, and can acquire information about the presence of faults; enable instant leak detection, which represents water savings of up to 25 percent; and provide insight into water quality.

Technology also offers access to data that allows the study of key indicators for the distribution network, such as available water volume, water volume consumption, apparent losses, network production and operational efficiencies. And, for the customer, there's also the benefit of transparency. For instance, Sabesp, the largest water and waste management company in Brazil, already employs thousands of intelligent hydrometers, which enables following day-to-day consumption through the Sabesp Mobile app.

"Adoption of intelligent meters has been a great experience. The proof is that we'll be acquiring and implementing newer devices and in larger numbers. Our estimated payback for the first project is 14 months and the loss reduction predicted for the period is two gallons per connection per day for the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo. Work in loss reduction is one of the company's main strategies and, in addition, we strengthen our relationship with our customers, who now have easily available information, in the palms of their hands, about the consumption in their house or their business establishment," says Ricardo Baptista, division manager at Sabesp, who is responsible for the project.

Companies in other segments, like power and gas supply, are already using this solution, with similar efficiency gains. Other cases could be considered, such as monitoring parks, forests, or other areas vulnerable to illegally set fires. With the implementation of a sensor system based on LoRaWAN technology, it’s possible to detect atmospheric conditions and the gas composition of the air. This can aid in monitoring indexes of gases like hydrogen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, to alert the authorities in case of a fire, which would speed up response times and minimize damage both to nature and neighboring populations. 

Another critical infrastructure that IoT solutions could transform is waste management. Intelligent handling of waste by companies and cities based on low-cost IoT allows monitoring of trash cans to optimize collection routes and frequencies, reducing the environmental footprint and improving the quality of service.

By doing so, cities have a better cost-benefit ratio in managing the waste lifecycle, reducing total expenses with waste collection by at least 30 percent and cutting carbon emissions by up to 60 percent. Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, which has been investing in several solutions to make the city’s waste management more intelligent, is an example of a place where this kind of service is already underway.

Finally, there are the challenges facing our global supply chain. As the world re-emerges from the pandemic and consumers start spending, the ability to track goods, identify backlogs and manage cargo becomes more and more urgent. All these activities need LPWAN to track containers accurately and cost-effectively on ships – in and out of port – and on planes and trucks delivering goods to consumers. LPWAN delivers the device connectivity necessary for this level of tracking. Devices can be turned on and used for years, collect data, and send it to the cloud with minimal battery impact – further highlighting the sustainability benefits offered by massive IoT.

As these examples show, massive IoT can transform how businesses effectively deliver products, evolve the customer experience, enable innovation, and create new business models. These benefits are within reach today for enterprises that partner with the right network provider to leverage the future of IoT.


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