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Ripon will upgrade water meter system for 5G networks
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The new 5G-compatible endpoint telemetry devices that can be attached to water meters are coming soon to Ripon.

The Ripon City Council approved last week  replacing the soon-to-be-outdated original 3G system – part of the 2015 Water Meter Installation Project – that sends water-usage data back to the city via cellular signals.

“The endpoint devices purchased (from Badger Meter, Inc.) had a 10-year battery life with a five-year full replacement warranty and a five-year pro-rated replacement warranty,” said Public Works Director James Pease in his March 8 report to Council.

He noted that Badger, in turn, is providing 50 percent cost reduction to the City of Ripon on the 4,148 endpoints – the new units will have a 20-year batter life with a 10-year full warrant coupled with a 10-year prorated warranty.

The City is planning to handle the installation upon receiving of the new endpoints. Deliveries of those units will be staggered, Pease added.

“There will be no interruption (of service) to customers,” he said.

Councilman Gary Barton asked if the new 5G-compatible endpoints will work with the 4G service.

Pease confirmed, acknowledging that 4G and 5G are compatible.

He pointed out that Ripon would have been in this position no matter what given the changing technology.

In 2015, the endpoint devices installed was the latest technology and were configured to run on the 3G cellular networks.

By April 2020, the major wireless carriers began signaling their intentions to upgrade the existing towers to the newer LTE (4G/5G) standards.

“This turndown of the 3G networks was scheduled to happen as soon as January 2020,” said Pease.

Badger Meter, Inc., meanwhile, has been working with the major wireless carriers, agreeing to extend the 3G network longevity through the end of this year.

The new endpoint devices, once installed, will enable the City to continue to perform remote meter readings while providing customers with online access to their detailed water usage data beyond 2022.