Pilot projects seek to assess whether data collection from facilities using this technology is feasible or whether penetration in practice is higher than traditional communication technology and sufficient to meet ESO's business needs. The aim is to find out whether this technology is sufficient for device management, software maintenance, replacement, and upgrading.
Smart Meters with NB-IoT technology, using cellular networks, send data about energy consumption, energy production, and the quality of energy supplied to ESO.
Technology opportunities have been tested in a variety of conditions: metrologically measured and certified gas meters are installed in the company's volunteer homes, while new electric meters are installed in the basement and underground, built in ESO laboratories, and also transported to problem points potential.
"The test results are currently very surprised – we see that the first installed meter in the Vilnius region sends data even from places where other communication technologies (such as LTE Cat 1, 2G / 3G) do not guarantee data collection. With signal strength less than -105 dBm, GPRS technology cannot be used to collect data, but NB-IoT communication modems transmit data even at rates lower than -115 dBm. The assumption that safes can protect the propagation of electromagnetic waves in a way that cannot transmit information is also not confirmed, "said Mindaugas Vyšniauskas, ESO Smart Network Architect.
Even though the shielding effect is visible, it's not as big as it should be, nor does it have a significant effect on data transfer. There are concerns about the operation of this technology in the border zone, but in this case, there is no communication disruption in this area.
NB-IoT is the same LTE technology owned by the 4G mobile family, but professionals set it to 4.5G or LTE Advanced. The last communication technology is considered as the future basis for 5G connections for what is called the Internet of Things.
According to M. Vysniauskas, currently one of the most sophisticated technological solutions is being tested in Lithuania, and the first step in the whole world is underway. In the pilot project, two telecommunications operators Telia and Bite participated in a pilot project without an ESO team, and three test suppliers were supplied by the Apator (Poland), Pietro Fiorentini (Italy), JanzCE (Portugal).