Five Things to Consider When Choosing a Smart Utility Network

Procurement and Operations Options – Your utility needs to identify a network that can meet your utility’s goals, ex­pertise and finances. Are you looking for Managed Servic­es, Software as a Service (SaaS) or Network as a Service (NaaS)? This is your first step in moving toward the system that will work best for your utility. With the Sensus FlexNet® communication network, you have all three options. Choose to procure the network as a capital ex­penditure or shift procurement to a subscription-based pricing mod­el to grow as you grow. However you proceed, Xylem and FlexNet empower you to focus on what you want to focus on.

Ability to Grow with Your Needs – A utility’s data, needs and services fluctuate over time. We know that the selection of a smart utility network is the purchase of a lifetime for many utilities, meaning we know utilities want more functionalities for the long run. With a variety of applications that can be incorporated into your network over time, you can choose when and how you want to build out your network. Whether you’re interested in identifying pressure levels or receiving alerts for leaks − or whatever tomorrow’s demands will be − we’re able to grow with you.

Backward Compatible – Your smart utility network should be backward compatible. With backward compatibility, FlexNet is engineered to leave no assets stranded in the field − during your current transition, future transitions or updates. Unlike cellular, you’ll never face the challenge of replacing assets to gain its full potential because of a move to a new platform. Our solution has the ability to be used for both Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) – so when your utility encounters an emergency, you’re able to read your data in the quickest, most effective way. With the control of our own net­work, you won’t have unexpected updates and purchases that will abandon any of your vital assets in the field like with cellular.

Multiple Levels of Redundancy – Is redundancy integrat­ed into every part of your network? Redundan­cy is found in our Base Stations (data collectors) with bat­tery power as a backup, so your data is always being collected and relayed. But the data doesn’t stop at your utility. The data is collected and stored in Xylem’s two data centers in the United States. The entire FlexNet solution is designed to give you the assurance of data reliability and redundancy. With a Sensus smart utility network, your data can be transmitted every 15 minutes, whereas cellular is set up to transmit data twice a day with the option to pay more for more frequent data transmission.

Lifetime of Assets and Best ROI – When you’re select­ing a network, it’s vital to identify one that provides long-lasting assets and the best return on investment (ROI). With Sensus, our solution is rigorously tested and backed by the longest warranties in the industry. It is purpose built to meet the specific topography of your service area to eliminate dead spots. Unlike cellular, with your private FlexNet network, you’re guaranteed to have the communication you need when you need it most – along with all your other utility tasks – even in places with no cellular service or emergencies. Cellular systems share the same communication frequencies as other provides, so your data will constantly be battling noise to get through to your field assets and collect data. With our system, your assets are built to stay current. You won’t be required to replace endpoints to take advantage of future upgrades or enhancements.

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