Vodafone and Aqualia join forces to connect Spain's water meters through the internet

Technology is advancing unstoppably, offering more and more connectivity possibilities and positively impacting the daily lives of millions of people and companies. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technological advance that connects everyday physical elements to the internetallowing the creation of an automated cow milking system, the automation of grape harvesting and wine production or even the connection of water meters.

Vodafone is the leader in the Spanish IoT market with more than 6.5 million active lines at the end of 2023. Therefore, the water management company Aqualia has entrusted Vodafone Spain with the supply of NB-IoT connectivity for digitize the integral water cycle for the next ten years. The narrow band IoT (NB-IoT) is designed to extend the advantages of the Internet of Things to those areas where “until now it was not possible to implement projects based on connected objects,” explains the telecommunications operator.

The initial objective of this agreement between both companies is supply more than one million IoT connections to your water meters during the first five years of the contract. In October 2022, the deployment with Aqualia began, and since then, Vodafone Spain has already connected more than 250,000 meters to its NB-IoT network.

Likewise, the water management company In the coming years, it will offer a remote reading service to its more than three million users in Spain. In this way they will be able to have a better knowledge of the uses of water and its efficiency, as well as greater transparency in water management. This service will also contribute to improving environmental aspects and generating highly qualified technical employment.

“The control and correct management of water use in Spain is a constant and vitally important challenge today. With this contract, we put our most cutting-edge technology at the service of Aqualia to actively contribute to the better conservation of natural resources and more efficient water management”, explains the IoT director of Vodafone Spain, Daniel Barallat.

Modernization of the integral water cycle in the PERTE framework

This digitization of the integral water cycle is part of the Strategic Project for Recovery and Economic Transformation (PERTE). This aims to modernize the urban water cycle to improve its efficiencyreduce water losses and improve wastewater treatment infrastructure.

The financing line provided by the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge that manages these projects amounts, in this second call, to 200 million euros. It is expected to mobilize another 1.7 billion euros of Next Generation public funds in the coming years and create around 3,500 new jobs.

Vodafone Water Metering

The telecommunications operator began applying NB-IoT technology to the water cycle in 2016 with the project Waters of Valencia. To continue responding to the digitalization needs of water management companies, Vodafone was awarded in 2023 the largest of the four lots tendered for the Canal de Isabel II in the contract for the supply of water meters with NB-IoT connectivity and telecommunications services for automatic remote reading for the next five years.

Vodafone Water Metering is “the solution that allows you to digitalize the consumption measurement process of homes, industries and public entities through the use of smart and connected devices, which They collect a greater amount of information, and by subsequently processing that information with data analysis tools“says the operator. Through this solution it will not only be possible to guarantee the best service to its customers, but there are also other advantages:

  • Detect fraudulent uses: This solution allows the detection of leaks in facilities, reverse flow and fraudulent manipulation of drinking water meters.
  • Predict user consumption patterns: Vodafone Water Metering makes it easier for provincial and town council management companies to adjust the amount of water needed to pump in each of the locality's sectors. This will avoid exposing the infrastructure to unnecessary stress and reduce the risk of breakage and avoid high water losses.
  • Know the consumption: the consumer will be able to know the amount of water consumed day by day without making any estimates.
  • Reduce consumption of non-registered water.

Furthermore, the operator explains that this solution provides a “comprehensive service for collecting and delivering meter reading data” which allows us to simplify and optimize the collection of consumption readings in a supply network; remotely manage devices; and simplify integrations with customers' water management systems.