By Michael Tschirret, Marketing Communications Manager for Smart Cities, Sensus
In this day and age, the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought new meaning to the word “connected”. All over the world, machine to machine (M2M) communication has made possible improvements to citizen safety, efficiency, and sustainability on an unheard of scale. And many of those enhancements are increasingly being utilized by utilities to increase customer satisfaction.
In order to drive that customer satisfaction, utilities need to be smart. According to Randolph Wheatley, Sensus’ Vice President of Communications Solutions Marketing, “at its foundation, a smart utility has integrated capabilities that enable it to effectively gather information about the resources it provides and the network it uses.” But smart doesn’t just happen — it requires a communications network that can enable that potential. Here, then, are ten principles to consider when implementing a future-proof utility network.
- Build for longevity: Show network value as part of the solution years after deployment.
- Secure your data: Maintain cybersecurity vigilance through encryption, layered defenses, and FCC-licensed spectrum.
- Perform preventative maintenance: Extend the life of the network through regularly scheduled inspections and upgrades.
- Safeguard your infrastructure: Build resilience by protecting network technology against extreme weather and natural hazards.
- Increase reliability: Overlap coverage to provide backup in the event that a primary system fails.
- Reduce obsolescence: Evolve with rapidly advancing technology that is critical in today’s fast-paced world.
- Plan ahead: Anticipate and prepare for the future to ensure unforeseen problems are kept to a minimum.
- Review life cycle benefits: Consider the tough to quantify, long-term benefits of the network during periodic reviews.
- Promote advantages: Educate stakeholders on the benefits, advantages and capabilities that the network offers.
- Monitor and manage your bandwidth: Prepare for ever-increasing volumes of data that drive expansion and new applications.
For more information, check out the Sensus video, “The Role of Smart Communications.” And if you’d like a deeper dive, we also offer a companion Viewpoint on the subject.
Michael Tschirret is a Marketing Communications Manager at Sensus. He is responsible for all outbound marketing, campaigns and events involving Smart Cities, Smart Lighting and the Internet of Things (IoT). Entering his fourth year at Sensus, Michael previously supported marketing efforts for the FlexNet Communications network.
Prior to Sensus, Michael was the Marketing Communications Manager for Wireless and Fiber Optic test and measurement solutions at Viavi. He has over 20 years of wireless and communication network expertise, to include product marketing and business development positions at Nortel and Agilent Technologies.
Michael holds a B.S. degree from the Florida State University, and an M.S. in Urban Planning from Virginia Tech.