Huawei, Vodacom take aim at smart water-heater monitoring solution
Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker, has t e a med u p w i t h Vodacom Busi ne s s to develop a technology solution for efficient energy and water use.
The s olut i on enables users to intelligently monitor and manage their geysers or boilers in real time.
Presently, water heaters are managed manually. This often means that faults are not always detected timeously.
This method of physically monitoring geysers or boilers in an era of machine-tomachine (M2M) solutions is obviously outdated.
M2M – also referred to as t he Internet of Things ( IoT) – involves connecting an assortment of devices including refrigerators, toothbrushes, geysers, couches, smart electricity meters and coffee makers to the internet (also see article on p. 18).
At the Huawei Network Congress 2015 held in Beijing in May, Huawei revealed that it had been working with Vodacom to develop a smart water heater monitoring solution.
“IoT is the future of our increasingly digitised world and net works are key to driv i ng value creation for enterprises,” said Li Xianyin, Huawei general manager, switch & enterprise communications product line.
Xianyin added: “With Huawei’s IoT technologies and offerings, we hope to support the digital transformation of t r aditiona l i ndustries and t he development of the IoT ecosystem.” Huawei predicts that by 2025, a total of 100bn internet connected devices will be generated globally and 2m new sensors will be deployed every hour.
Vodacom, which i s major i t yowned by Br i t i s h mobile g i a nt Vodafone, is already playing a vital role in the IoT space through XLink Communications, a provider of wireless data M2M services.
Vodacom is already a big player in the M2M market, but it also wants to provide more M2M SIM cards. In the year to end March, Vodacom reported a 18.5% r ise to 1.8m active M2M connections.
Tony Smal l wood, Vodacom’s e xec ut i v e head: M2M Ser v i c e s , conf i rmed t hat Vodacom Business had worked with Huawei to develop a smart water heater monitoring solution. He said that the product will benefit users of the M2M solution by making it possible to “take proactive steps to prevent the failure of the water heater and the associated peripheral damage”.
He added: “As a by-product of the solution, the M2M device provides the user of the water heater the ability to optimise the energy consumption of the water heater and therefore reduce the cost of the energy used to heat the unit.”
But quest i ons r emain a r ound residential consumers. Will they be interested in buying the M2M waterheating solution?
Smallwood said t hat t he target market for t his particular offering was insurance companies and energy management solution providers.
The development wi l l enable i nsurers and energ y management solution providers to have a data services platform for managing multiple SIM cards from a single interface and gather real-time intelligence about smart water heaters – such as water temperature and any leakages.
IN THE YEAR TO END MARCH, VODACOM REPORTED A IN ACTIVE M2M CONNECTIONS.
Lourie attended the Huawei Network Congress 2015 in Beijing as a guest of Huawei.
Li Xianyin, Huawei general manager, switch & enterprise communications product line.