Communication technologies

Communication technologies for smart water metering

Choosing the right communication technology for water management can be a challenge. With many options, benefits and differences, we are happy to guide you in your choice.

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When it comes to communication technology for water management, there are a number of interesting options to pick from. But how do you choose between M-Bus, NB-IoT, LoRaWAN®, and linkIQ®, and in which case does each technology make the most sense?
At Kamstrup, we have identified four key elements worth considering before deciding on your connectivity solution: reliability, transparency, scalability, and value. In the following, we will outline how to determine your needs and then explore the different communication technology options.
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Defining your data needs in smart water solutions

Information and communication technology (ICT) has brought forth various services intended to utilize digital transformation as a means to improve water management. However, it's important to stress the fact that different technologies work well for different purposes, and so you should always assess your needs before committing to one technology over another. To find the optimal communication technology, you want to consider the capabilities you need and how you intend to use them in regards to:

  • Data purpose (billing, analytics, optimizing operations)
  • Priorities regarding owning the network or solutions with Network as a Service and data subscriptions
  • Battery lifetime
  • Data resolution and frequency
  • Network Quality of Service 
Logo of dop of water consisting of 5 sections with emphasis on the section that says connectivity

Different kinds of communication technology provide different results, and if you can be specific about the problems you need solved or certain improvements you wish to gain, you should have a much better idea of what to look for. Based on our experience, we have managed to reduce the topic of picking a new communication technology to 4 specific focal points:

  1. Reliability - long-term investments must provide long-lasting quality.
  2. Transparency - the right metering system should keep an eye on every part of the distribution network.
  3. Scalability - scalability and openness towards technological innovation are essential to future-proofing projects.
  4. Value - adding operational benefits, improved customer service, and value to your business.

It is our opinion that you will get the most satisfying result by discussing the topics above with an industry expert in regard to how they relate to your specific challenges. Depending on your requirements, the right communications system for your business needs might not be just one technology, but in fact a hybrid of multiple systems to bridge the digital divide. 

At Kamstrup, we have the in-house components and skilled engineers to create a tailor-made solution for your specific needs. To learn more about out how we help utilities and their customers, check out our water solutions.

Which communication technology fits your business needs?

Water management and innovation goes hand in hand, and so we have frequently seen new technologies and new services enter the stage. With new tools come new opportunities, but on the other hand this also makes it more difficult to make clear and simple decisions. To provide an overview of your options, we have included a list of the most recommendable ICT solutions and their benefits.

  • Supply area is within network coverage
  • Meets high performance data requirements
  • No need for owning or managing network infrastructure
  • Scalable network suited for expanding needs
  • Trusted network partners available in supply area


  • Supply area is within network coverage
  • Meets data requirements through LoRaWAN®'s performance
  • No need for owning or managing network infrastructure
  • Scalable network suited for expanding needs
  • Option to select from various security levels


  • Needs network coverage (either owned or as-a-service)
  • Option to gain full control over the network
  • Requires a strong SLA for the entire lifespan of the infrastructure
  • Demands consistent access to the latest data due to high usage
  • Ensures meter lifespan of 15 years minimum


  • Future-proof solution with advanced two-way options
  • Able to cover many deep indoor or pit-mounted meters
  • Provides frequent data with high actuality
  • Ensures meter lifespan of 15 years minimum (battery)
  • Enhanced protection from cyberthreats, uptime, and QoS (Quality of service)

Compliance and security standards in IoT

In the water industry, IoT (Internet of Things) is a powerful tool for collecting and exchanging data on many levels. But with great power comes great responsibility, and so it's both legally and morally important to make sure that a given information and communication technology (ICT) adheres to relevant regulations on IoT security. So, what does it take to stay compliant with IoT security measures?

  1. Understanding relevant regulations to your utility, such as Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Clean Water Act (CWA) and regional directives.
  2. Implementing robust data management systems and analytics platforms to monitor water and energy consumption patterns, water quality, and infrastructure performance.
  3. Using secure IoT devices with encryption mechanisms and authentication protocols, such as OMS security or Transport Layer Security (TLS), to protect data from unauthorised access or tampering.
  4. Continuous monitoring of your communications technology to enable prompt detection and mitigation of potential IoT security incidents.

Besides installing your communication technology as well as collecting and analysing your data, part of Kamstrup's service also includes monitoring and protecting your IoT systems from cyberthreats.

Ensuring future-proof technologies in smart water management

Long-term IoT investments need to be both reliable and scalable to make sense. This means that the technology must provide long-lasting quality while leaving the door open for technological innovation and seamless upscaling in the future. At Kamstrup, we pride ourselves on contributing to raising the bar in both categories.

Our newest generation of smart water meters, flowIQ® 2200, has an industry-leading battery life of up to 20 years, not to mention other strong features such as enhanced durability and acoustic leak detection. Paired with the communication technology that suits your specific needs, if not multiple, our solutions both possess the flexibility to solve current challenges and the adaptability to meet future demands.


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A historical perspective on the evolution of communication technologies

The evolution of information and communication technologies in water management has been a journey marked by ingenuity, necessity, and technological advancements. From ancient aqueducts to modern smart water grids, the quest for efficient water distribution, conservation, and management has driven innovation throughout history.

In the mid-20th century, the introduction of telemetry ushered in the modern era of remote data collection and monitoring in water management. Telemetry enabled the transmission of sensor data from remote locations to centralised control centers, facilitating real-time monitoring of water quality, flow rates, and system performance.

In recent decades, the convergence of IoT, sensor technologies, and data analytics has transformed water management into a dynamic, interconnected ecosystem of smart water systems. With cloud computing and big data technologies entering the party, water utilities gained the power to process and analyse massive amounts of data more efficiently.

The next part of the evolution was scalable storage and computational resources for data analytics, including predictive modeling, anomaly detection, and optimisation of water distribution networks. As technology continues to evolve, the future of communication technology in water management holds the promise of even greater efficiency, sustainability, and resilience. 


Before you make a long-term decision, let us guide you in your choice of communication technology

At Kamstrup, we are skilled industry experts with vast experience in creating smart water solutions tailored to the wants and needs of our clients. With our smart meters serving as the backbone of our solutions, we deliver extensive data that when used correctly can optimise operations, improve leak detection, reduce water loss, improve customer service, reduce expenses, and create value.

We seek to lead and inspire the water industry by delivering maximal value to our clients through clever utilisation of communication technology. Therefore, part of our offer is to take responsibility of handling as much of your data management as you like, such as installing your communication technology and collecting your data for you. In this way, we can assist by doing what we do best, while you can focus on your core business.

Does this sound like something for you? Contact our sales support team and let's get in touch.


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