How the Internet of Things provides access to running water worldwide
Nowadays one in ten people do not have access to drinking water. Not surprisingly, African continent is the one most affected by this inequality. But even if Africa has more than 5.000 billion cubic meters of water in its groundwater, 320 million inhabitants still do not benefit from safe water.
To deal with this problem CityTaps, a French start-up, has designed a clever solution to prepay water with a phone. How ? With a smart water meter, a prepayment service and a billing software.
| A simple solution adapted to developing countries
Thanks to the prepayment service, users of this new kind of meter can have an access to the quantity of water desired at any time, according to their financial means so they can better manage their budgets. Water utilities also take benefits from this solution : assured of the payments, they can invest in new infrastructures. Because of the generalization of mobile payments, this innovation is particularly suitable for developing countries. That is why the startup chose Africa to experiment its solution.
| But how to install smart meters in remote towns of Africa ?
CityTaps smart meters do not have to be connected to the power grid or the internet. This is possible thanks to the IoT and more specifically to the LoRaWAN technology. Indeed this technology is low power and long range: it means a single gateway can cover several hundred of smart meters running on battery.
Wi6Labs, designer and integrator of solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things, participated to this project by bringing its network expertise: CityTaps smart meters are connected with Wiotys, a LoRaWAN private network solution.
| From experimentation to mass deployment
After several month of experimentation, the solution is effective in Niamey, Niger, where CityTaps is expanding the project with the installation of 1.325 CTMeters. Five other African countries interested in this concept should be fitted. Then, this promising company expects to install 10 millions smart meters worldwide.
Find out more about this project : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rQiLMUp-AM
Discover CityTaps website : http://www.citytaps.org/
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