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u-blox, Pietro Fiorentini and Terranova Software demonstrate Narrowband IoT functionality in the field

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u-blox (SIX:UBXN), a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips, Pietro Fiorentini S.p.a., a leading company producing components, systems and services for the regulation and metering of natural gas, and Terranova, Software the Italian market leader for Meter Data Management SW and part of Pietro Fiorentini Group, today announced the successful results of their Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) field trials.

The trials were run on a full working NB-IoT cycle inside a gas meter, with focus on the results achieved in the field, in areas where reachability and battery consumption, as well as product robustness and reliability are crucial. The trials involved two Spanish major gas distribution companies and a significant number of Pietro Fiorentini gas meters.  NB-IoT technology fully supports a set of advanced functions:  bi-directional communication, data encryption at 128 bit and remote commands for meter shut down. All these features are additional to the conventional remote meter reading and gas consumption profiling.  The trial covered the whole chain: gas meter – NB-IoT network – communication protocols and finally data acquisition system and meter data management on software provided by Terranova making the data available to any ERP system. The results demonstrated complete end–to–end system functionality, bi-directional communication, and perfect scalability from 2G to NB-IoT.

“We needed a high quality and reliable smart technology for conducting NB-IoT trials in a gas meter anticipating the communication needs of the modern gas industry. SARA‑N2, the NB-IoT module from u-blox was therefore the right choice. We were satisfied to see the success of the complete end to end solution with bi-directional data communication fully integrated in the Terranova Meter Data Management platform. We are grateful to the Spanish gas distribution companies and to the international telephone operator that made all this possible,” explains Gianfranco DeFeo, Executive Director of Shanghai Fiorentini and Marketing Principal at Pietro Fiorentini.

“It was very exciting to collaborate with market leaders such as Pietro Fiorentini and Terranova in conducting trials that would eventually guarantee secure high quality wireless communication in smart gas metering applications,” explains Stefano Moioli, Director Product Management Cellular at u-blox.

The results achieved are preparatory for further roll-out in the field.

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