The industrial city of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, while not on the official list of cities under the central government’s Smart Cities Mission, is witnessing several internet of things (IoT) applications designed to make the lives of its 1-million-plus residents better.

The city, also known as Tata Nagar  or Steel City because of its industrial affiliation, is set to see many modernisation plans.

Ashish Mathur, Managing Director of Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Co. Ltd (JUSCO) said “IoT is probably the biggest game-changer we are experiencing.”  Such an integrated structure is an advantage in terms of better work coordination for multiple services.

He said   JUSCO has undertaken a journey almost 10 years back when it set up a call centre  to reach out to customers and address their issues with any of its services.  “For instance, we were the first to start combined billing for all kinds of utility services and among the first to introduce e-billing, e-payments, etc,” he said.

The company is now working on multiple IoT projects with Tata Communications Ltd, which has been rolling out specialized communication networks called LoRaWANs (Low Power Wide Area Networks or LPWANs.

The specifications for these networks are standardized by a non-profit association of telecom firms from around the world called the LoRa Alliance.

The idea behind a LoRa network is to provide a broad mechanism for devices (such as battery-powered sensors) to send relatively smaller amounts of data over larger distances while maintaining battery life for many years.