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How IoT works in brief ...

The Internet of Things is a network of Internet connected objects able to collect and exchange data. It is commonly abbreviated as IoT. To put it simply, we have "things" that sense and collect data and send it to the internet. This data can be accessible by other "things" too.

When ZiggyTec were researching the best way to automate live utility meter readings, we investigated many technologies including GSM (mobile phone) technology. It became clear, very quickly, that IoT is an incredible technology which is ideal for live utility measurement which is so much more cost effective than other technologies. 

Down below, you can download a very detailed document on IoT technology and how it works (more for the engineers who visit this page!!). But for most of us mere mortals, we need to know the basics of how it works and the benefits of this solution which are vast. 

 

The benefits are vast.
 

These IoT battery operated utility readers have a battery life of approx 7 years. Being battery operated, means that we do not need electricians to install the readers (which keeps your costs way down) and also means that you do not need to power down the building for an installation (which takes a lot of organisation with the tenants!!). 

IoT devices use their own network so you do not have to rely on GSM (mobile phone) signals deep in basements. To help understand an IoT network, let's do an analogy with the GSM network. GSM is an open and digital cellular technology for mobile phones and there are operators for GSM such as Vodafone or Virgin Media. IoT readers use an IoT communication network such as Sigfox or Lora. These are IoT networks that exist in our airwaves but you never get to hear about them as they are transmitting small amounts of data from devices. Sigfox claim to have 96% population coverage in Ireland and UK for IoT devices. So IoT devices transmit over their IoT network which is of great benefit. 

Also the fact that IoT devices use their own network, means that you do not have to get IT departments involved with connecting into Wifi or the Local Area Network (LAN), so there are no IT security risks. 

Installation of IoT utility readers only takes a few hours and the data is live on the Ziggy Platform immediately. You can access this data in three ways shown in this diagram. 

If you would like an in-depth guide to our technology, just download our free ebook