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Macnica DHW targets Brazil’s water metering market with Quectel BG95

Macnica DHW LTDA, the South America subsidiary of Macnica, Inc, Japanese distributor of electronic components and technology solutions provider, is targeting the water monitoring and metering industry in Brazil by highlighting the capabilities of the Quectel BG95 to empower smart water metering and other smart utility devices. Interest is growing in IoT-enabled water management equipment to make operations more efficient and to prevent waste. IoT capabilities make it possible to remotely monitor water usage and identify leaks, which directly reflects in water savings and reduced operating costs for utilities and cities.

Significant attention is now being devoted to ensuring that water is used responsibly and dwindling supplies are preserved as much as possible. A recent Harvard University study in the US has reported that water consumption rates threaten unsustainable levels in the coming decades. By 2071, almost half of the 204 hydrographic basins that currently supply the country with fresh water may no longer meet the growing demand.

Therefore, smart metering systems can reduce water usage, instantly alert consumers and utilities of leaks or system damage and increase the efficiency of operational processes. A study by Sydney Water in Australia has demonstrated that the use of smart meters has decreased water use by 6% in residential systems, a reduction that was maintained for two years after the study period.

Smart meters work by using an IoT-enabled sensor that measures water usage and ambient temperature in the system, updating the measurement database at regular intervals. These meters can be monitored remotely, eliminating the need for utility officers to take readings manually and send immediate updates if signs of leakage or tampering are detected.

Key benefits of IoT-enabled water meter management include avoiding wasting water by immediately identifying leaks and metering issues, reducing labour costs by eliminating the need for utility agents to take meter readings, and predicting consumption patters to better prepare for increased or reduced supply.

A fundamental enabler of a smart meter is connectivity which relies on an IoT module to be integrated into a meter device that allows the device to connect to a network. Typically meters have relatively low data requirements because they communicate information such as consumption at set intervals and only need to send small messages to alert utilities regarding immediate problems. Therefore LTE connectivity is an obvious solution because it does not demand wired infrastructure and has wide coverage, while also meeting the cost requirements and low energy consumption of metering use cases.

Macnica DHW has identified Quectel’s BG95 range of LTE modules as ideal for smart metering applications, as well as for a wide range of IoT applications such as wireless POS, smart water, gas and water metering, asset tracking, wearable devices and more. Importantly, the Quectel BG95-M2 module is already certified by Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel for use in Brazil, meaning that devices that utilize the module can be deployed on Brazilian LTE networks.

Key benefits of the Quectel BG95-M2 module include its compact 23.6mm x 19.9mm x 2.2mm form factor, its connectivity performance of up to 588Kbps downlink and 1119Kbps uplink under LTE Cat M1 and its ability to operate in a temperature range of -40 °C to +80 °C. The module can be brought to market rapidly thanks to reference designs, evaluation tools and timely technical support that can help minimize design and development efforts.

Ideally suited for smart meter deployments, the BG95-M2 features robust assembly and interfaces, and developers can also benefit from its mechanical strength and low power consumption. In addition, its advanced LGA package enables fully automated manufacturing for high-volume applications.

The module’s comprehensive set of hardware-based security features allows trusted applications to run directly on the TrustZone Cortex A7. It also features integrated RAM and flash memory which enables ultra-low power consumption, and the ARM Cortex A7 processor (supporting ThreadX) enables up to 70% reduction in power saving mode (PSM) leakage and 85% reduction in extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) current consumption compared to its predecessor.

“We have identified the Quectel BG95-M2 as an ideal module for use in smart metering applications thanks to its LTE connectivity, compact form factor and low power consumption,” said Neimar Marques Duarte, FAE at Macnica DHW. “As water saving and efficient operations continue to be critical for water utilities connecting smart meters enabled by easy to integrate modules such as the BG95-M2 is a priority for water providers. The module’s GNSS capabilities and the fact it is already certified in Brazil mean companies can get to market quickly and enjoy the benefits of smart metering.”

Ricardo Simon, Sales Director Latam, Quectel Wireless Solutions, added: “We’re delighted that Macnica DHW is stimulating growth in smart metering in Brazil and is promoting our BG95-M2 LTE module to water utility customers. It’s great to see companies pushing the benefits of IoT forward and working alongside us to save water and build a smarter world.”

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