How well does LPWAN handle urgent and important communications? E.g. a water meter detecting a critical failure that needs immediate response.
Answer transcribed from webinar response by Rian Sullings (WaterGroup P/L):
Excellent question. If you compare LPWAN to something we're all familiar with like 3G or 4G, it tends to be quite slow to communicate and send that message, but when I say slow I'm talking in wireless terms. In terms of humans realising information has arrived and reacting to it, it might take a few seconds for that message to travel over the air, and one or two seconds for it to arrive on your PC or on your mobile to give you an alert.
Typically, a smart meter will be set to send data at a regular interval. Depending on the technology, that might be more frequent with smaller amounts of data or it might be less frequent transmissions with larger amounts of data. If all is operating normally, the smart meter will tick along, sending data according to its regular schedule. You can also implement “transmission upon event” where the device has a little bit more cleverness built into it. It might be able to realise the profile of something like a leak, and say: "The water use has being flowing at a continuous rate and it's 3am and it's been doing this for an hour. That's not normal. That could be a leak. I will send a message right now instead of waiting until my next scheduled transmission."