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The different utilities have used and is still using various analogue and digital technologies for different types of communication networks to full-fill their communication requirements. These communication requirements included the following:

  • Voice communication
  • Telemetry to monitor the status of various devices
  • Telemetry to control devices i.e. to switch on devices remotely
  • Message services to keep people informed
  • Internet and Intranet service

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Many of these devices included analogue and digital modems to full-fill these functions and the frequency bands used in many cases included the traditional two way radio bands that also caried voice. Many of these utilities also used and is still using communications systems such as TETRA and NXDN or similar technologies for voice communication.

Recent developments brought along technologies such as Sigfox and LoRa which was designed for IoT and which used low capacity networks to perform a dedicated communication task. Typical applications included communication with water meters and electricity meters to control the units and to record the use of water and electricity through a network operations centre.

Traditional systems that provided a dedicated voice channels are also typical but the analogue and 2G/2.5G dedicated voice systems are not spectrum efficient and was basically limited to voice communication.

The more recent development in especially 5G systems now combine these individual solutions into a IP based solution which can support both the low bandwidth and low throughput  and the wide bandwidth and high speed communication requirements into one 5G system with network slicing. The advantage is that all the requirements are full-filled with data applications that runs on the IP network. The regulators are now providing 5G spectrum not only to the NMO’s but also to the vertical markets and the private network operators. If this is not the case in a specific country it will soon be the case. This is necessary to stimulate the economies and to make data more affordable. Your IoT requirements and the high bandwidth and low latency requirements are therefore catered for in these upcoming 5G/5G advanced and 6G networks. 

LS of South Africa can assist utilities that that has requirements for IoT, voice communication networks as well as high speed data to recommend and to implement such data communication requirements. We have the necessary planning software, knowhow and the necessary partners to recommend/design  the correct network for the requirement.