Radio frequency (RF) is the most basic of the backhaul options, ideal for smaller utilities with fewer endpoints and less extensive networks. Data travels from one point to another via the RF spectrum. Once the network is established, there are no monthly costs and the data is secure.
For utilities interested in implementing IoT-based leak detection and pressure management solutions, cellular backhaul is a good option. As specific telecom carriers host cellular networks, there is no need for a utility to create its own. This enables utilities to quickly deploy technologies into the water network. This option is an ideal starting point for an IoT-based program or for utilities without full AMI capabilities.
Utilities seeking an option with the most IoT capabilities should migrate to a LoRa-based network. Short for "long-range," LoRa is an RF modulation technique that offers high-power transmissions and increased range over traditional systems. This option eliminates the noise that can cause interference in basic RF transmissions, allowing for longer-range data retrieval. LoRa is not a proprietary network, which allows utilities to connect to any IoT-enabled equipment.