Australia’s 3G Shutdown – Is Your Water Utility Ready?

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3G Sunset Water

Australia’s major telecommunications providers are shutting down their 3G networks throughout 2024. This has critical implications for water utilities and councils reliant on 3G-connected smart devices.

If your water infrastructure includes pressure loggers, PRV controllers, acoustic loggers, meter pulse loggers, or other remote monitoring systems, urgent action is needed. Aqua Analytics partners with water utilities and councils to seamlessly transition your connected water assets to the latest cellular protocols (Cat-M1, NB-IoT, and 5G).


When Is The 3G Network Shutting Down?

  • Vodafone was the first company to switch off its 3G networkshutting it down between December 2023 and January 2024.
  • Telstra will follow, with all its 3G services ending June 30, 2024.
  • Optus will be the last to shut its 3G network in September 2024.


Which Water Assets Are Affected by the 3G Shutdown?

The following legacy devices often rely on 3G and may be rendered obsolete if not upgraded:

  • Pressure and flow loggers: Critical for monitoring network health, pressure transient monitoring, insertion flow meters, or undertaking hydraulic model calibration.
  • PRV (Pressure Reducing Valve) controllers: Manage pressure remotely to optimise flow reduce breaks and obtain a calm water network.
  • Acoustic leak detection loggers: Vital for pinpointing hidden leaks contributing to non-revenue water.
  • Meter pulse loggers: Enable remote meter readings, streamlining billing, and leak detection.
  • Other remote monitoring and control devices: SCADA systems, tank level sensors, etc.


What Happens if You Don’t Upgrade?

  • Loss of critical data: You won’t have the insights to make informed decisions about your water network.
  • Inability to react quickly: Leaks and pressure issues could go undetected, escalating problems.
  • Operational disruptions: Manual readings or lack of consumption data provided to large commercial and industrial customers.
  • Increased costs: Reactive maintenance and emergency repairs become more frequent.


The Benefits of Upgrading to Cat-M1, NB-IoT, and 5G

  • Optimised for IoT: Cat-M1 and NB-IoT are designed for low-power, long-range devices, perfect for remote water infrastructure assets and lowering the total cost of the asset’s life. For example, our NB-IoT ZoneScan Acoustic Leak Detection Loggers.
  • Future-proof: Both 4G and 5G bring faster speeds, and improved coverage, preparing for advanced tech and edge computing.
  • Unmatched reliability: Newer networks offer improved stability over aging 3G.
  • Greater data potential: Supports more sophisticated analytics for better decision-making.


Aqua Analytics: Your Partner in the Transition

We understand the water industry’s unique challenges. Our process is designed for minimal disruption:

  • Comprehensive Assessment: We’ll conduct a comprehensive device audit to identify all your 3G-reliant devices in your water supply system.
  • Tailored Upgrade Plan: This includes recommendations based on device type, location, and needs, as well as full costings of devices and enabling works.
  • Seamless Implementation: Expert site installation through our nationwide expert teams and integration into existing systems.
  • Ongoing Support: Ensure your upgraded devices deliver maximum value and are configured correctly to meet your organisational objectives.


Don’t Let the 3G Sunset Disrupt Your Operations

Proactive action is crucial. Contact Aqua Analytics today for a free infrastructure assessment. We’ll help you navigate the 3G sunset and ensure your water utility stays ahead of the curve.

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