February - 2019

For many years now, Canal de Isabel II has had one of the most advanced business communications networks in Spain. This has given the company the know-how needed to experiment with a large number of the new technologies that have come on the market. Until now, however, a feasible technical solution for remote meter reading has not been found to address the context and scenario of the Autonomous Community of Madrid.

Lack of standardisation, the need for significant deployment of infrastructures and proprietary solutions, and uncertainty regarding future trends are amongst the issues that have prevented Canal de Isabel II from launching itself into large-scale implementation of remote reading. Nowadays, there is a tendency to think of mobile telephones as being capable of solving any communications problem, including the remote reading of a meter. But mobile phones do not always provide a comprehensive solution, for two basic reasons:
1. Coverage – Mobile telephone coverage is exceptional but there are areas within building (basements, garages, etc.) in which mobile coverage deteriorates or simply does not exist. And the fact is that most water meters are located in environments of this type, or even worse locations in terms of signal strength.
2. Power – Mobile telephones need to be charged at least once per day. However, for remote reading purposes, a meter, which emits data continuously, must be capable of functioning for years without needing to be recharged or replaced.

But despite this, would it be possible to use the enormous, mass infrastructures managed by mobile telephone operators for remote meter reading?

Humbelina Vallejo, Vice-director of Commercial Services at Canal de Isabel II