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Lisbon first with NB-IoT smart meter pilot

The pioneering project, which will be concluded by the end of the year, is the result of a partnership between five major companies

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Around 100 customers in Parque das Nações will take part in the pilot
Around 100 customers in Parque das Nações will take part in the pilot

The first operational pilot project using electrical energy smart meters and NB-IoT communications technology has begun in the Parque das Nações in Lisbon. The pioneering project, which will be concluded by the end of the year, is the result of a partnership between five major companies: NOS, EDP Distribuição, Huawei, Janz CE and U-Blox.


The solution combines emerging technologies with the smart metering of electrical energy and the latest generation networks to oversee the electricity network.


EDP Distribuição is using the technology for a pilot project as part of the Upgrid project of the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. The infrastructure network using NB-IoT technology has been installed by NOS, based on Huawei’s technology. Nos becomes the first operator in Portugal to test the 4.5G-IoT technology on its network infrastructure.


NB-IoT is a low power wide area (LPWA) wireless access technology, which offers a wide range of advantages, including a battery life of up to 10 years, a gain of 20dB over conventional GSM networks and support to more than 100,000 connections per cell.


Based on optimised and bi-directional communication, NB-IoT addresses a number of challenges relating to intelligent networks and smart energy:

  • Customer satisfaction, through the automatic detection of failures, improving the time needed to restore service. In case of storms or other abnormal situations, quicker detection of the area affected allows teams to be allocated immediately and precisely on the ground for the problem to be resolved rapidly;
  • Online measurement of consumption, supporting various values per hour, and a range of energy events and statistics;
  • On demand response functionality, based on the installed capacity being managed almost in real time. This function is particularly useful taking into account the ongoing and progressive adoption of electric vehicles and the increasing pace of transition towards renewable sources of electrical energy;
  • Continuous development of technology, driven by the potential mass adoption by operators worldwide. This implementation, on a major scale, will ensure a mature eco-system and technological evolution, achieved by perfecting its features and introducing new elements, in accordance with the requirements of the smart grid.

The Parque das Nações area in Lisbon was chosen by EDP Distribuição to pilot the project among around 100 customers, until the end this year. This cluster of the city is already covered by NB-IoT and has been equipped with two NOS base stations, which provide NB-IoT coverage.


Intelligent energy management in the homes of these customers, who will also play an active role in helping to improve their energy consumption efficiency, represents a relevant practical example for this technology.


Manuel Ramalho Eanes, board director of NOS, said: “We are really proud of NOS’ involvement in this innovative project, which will make a real difference in making electricity consumption more efficient in Portuguese homes in the near future.”


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