Shinichi Matsunaga

Shinichi Matsunaga, Director for Sensus Japan, discusses the importance of ensuring the communication networks supporting mission critical IoT applications – which are in fact the foundations of our smart networks and cities – are run on secure and reliable networks.

A lot of industries use the term IoT now, but what is Mission Critical IoT?

Mission Critical IoT is the term used to describe the intelligent network utility companies implement to enable near-real time communication of their water, gas and electricity networks. A failure in any of these networks could result in catastrophic consequences for consumers and untold financial losses for the utilities. The critical aspect these networks represent the importance of choosing the appropriate communications technology supplier.

How do you choose a critical IoT communications network supplier?

The IoT market place is growing, with the number of companies – many of them within the cellular space – claiming to be able to supply the utilities industry with critical IoT communications, enabling their networks to function ‘Smarter’. However, the experience and expertise these companies bring to the table is not within the Critical IoT space. It sits within the consumer capacity, data speed and data volume, where success is often measured with mobile phone coverage – which as we know is not always available when we need it!

It can be difficult to make a well-informed decision when the industry is full of well-marketed large global corporates looking to add another name to their portfolio. However, utility-grade companies such as Sensus, dedicate millions of dollars in R&D, around the globe, each year to ensure that mission critical IoT is a fully functional reality.

Why is a robust Critical IoT network so important for the success of a smart network or city?

Smart networks represent an unprecedented opportunity to move the utility industry into a new era of untold efficiency and sustainability that promises to contribute to the environmental and economic health of the world. In order to do this they require a reliable, secure and flexible smart infrastructure to deliver clean water, dependable power, safe gas and efficient public lighting. If a utility is going to invest in a communications technology partner, certain contractual guarantees and strict service level agreements (SLA’s) need to be able to be put in place to protect their investment.

How can the right critical IoT technology supplier make a difference to a utility’s business?

In order to fully support a smart project that is responsible for the connectivity of critical national infrastructure, the selection and availability of dedicated, licensed spectrum is essential; its use assures better signal-to-noise ratio, low interference and guaranteed connectivity. All of these factors help meet the growing demands of the developing smart industries and ensure successful rollouts that ultimately increase operational efficiencies. Utilities in Japan are beginning to see the advantages of implementing smart networks. Trial results have shown that not only do they now possess the ability of saving resources like water, but also to make employee working conditions safer whilst increasing the overall operational efficiency of the organisation. Using the right critical IoT technology makes it easy to be Smart.