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Utilities Pilot Nascent IoT Protocols for Efficiencies

On 13 April 2017 Societá Metropolitana Acque Torino S.p.A (SMAT), Turin’s municipal water utility, and Olivetti, the digital center of Telecom Italia Group (TIM), signed an agreement to deploy the first Narrow Band Internet-of-Things (NB-IoT) cellular network in Italy. Currently operating 750,000 manually-read meters, SMAT becomes the first Italian utility to explore new IoT protocols.

To date, SMAT (and the Italian water sector) have been plagued by non-revenue water loss. By harnessing Narrow-Band IoT, the utility aims to optimize its network by integrating real-time network monitoring with advanced remote control stations, enhancing predictive demand forecasting with district metering, and improving data flow and transparency to turn water customers into educated consumers.

In this Research Note, Bluefield analyzes the changing nature of water sector IoT communications and evolving strategies of utilities that are leveraging these technologies. For more in-depth analysis, see our recent reports on smart water in the US and Europe.


  • SMAT turns to NB-IoT to enable smarter, more efficient network management
  • Uptake of licensed spectrum protocols steal spotlight from unlicensed players.
  • Utilities stand to gain flexibility by tapping sector-ready communications.

Companies Mentioned

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