Most have experienced the cost and frustration associated of running multiple remote monitoring points over the cellular networks.
The cost of the SIM and its data is only part the problem as the more devices there are in the field the larger the management task becomes. However, this can be soon be dwarfed by those extra costs in particular with battery powered devices in poor signal and difficult to access locations where visits are often required to either re-position antenna, retrieve data or to change batteries exhausted from aborted attempts to connect to the cellular networks, and finally there is the longer term cost associated with upgrading all devices due to the forced migration from 2G and 3G to 4G and 5G.
The answer lies with “spitting the SIM” by using wireless data concentrators to harvest data from field deployed wireless devices.
The idea is not new is was pioneered back at the turn of the century by Radio Data Networks founder Mr Brian M Back, when he developed Europe’s first wide area AMR network that was deployed in Paris and a string of other French cities.
Today, we have a more flexible architecture that facilitates more than meter reading. These days options include levels from 4-20mA devices, vibration levels, energy monitoring, AMR, temperature, blocked sewer alarms, screen blinding, CSO event duration monitoring (EDM) and much more. In truth any data that can be digitised and converted into data packets can be harvested this way.
Importantly, the modern data concentrators in addition to the cellular networks are capable of delivering the data over a variety of media including Serial and LANs. They are also capable of monitoring the RF channels for interference and reductions in the quality of signal reception, power failure, low battery levels etc.
Finally in this world of constant cyber attack, the networks are considered much more secure than a distributed internet enabled network like those that use GPRS which have numerous potential points of attack.
Data concentrators can be kept completely isolated from the internet and data storage can be included to backup data in the event of the receiving server running into difficulties. Further, of the radio network is setup on a licenced channel then there is the added protection under the licence that in many countries makes is a criminal offence to interfere with the network.
In summary, splitting the SIM today is even more relevant today as it was almost two decades ago. It is cost effective, reduces management costs, can improve security from cyber attack and for the Water Industry can deliver assured TOTEX for AMP6.
Radio Data Networks Limited
Copyright Radio Data Networks 2015