Martina Hammer


Heavy rain events: Better risk management with IoT

  • Early warning for emergency services and the public
  • Precise precipitation and level measurement in real time
  • Reliable connectivity with NB-IoT and LTE-M
heavy rain

Increasing risk of heavy rain: Deutsche Telekom and Spekter develop early warning system for population and emergency services. © Deutsche Telekom/ iStock/ Marccophoto; Montage: Evelyn Ebert Meneses

Climate change increases the risk of heavy rainfall. Spekter, a software specialist from Germany, and Deutsche Telekom offer an early warning system for cities and municipalities. For this, on-site IoT sensors measure precipitation, water levels and runoff behavior in rivers and canals.  Via Deutsche Telekom's NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE-M machine and sensor networks, they transmit the data to the cloud for analysis. If water volumes reach critical thresholds, the system warns the population in good time and alerts emergency services. Deutsche Telekom will be showing first impressions of the early warning system at Digital X 2023 on September 20 and 21 at the T Digital Brandhouse at the Mediapark, Komet 7, in Cologne. 

Real-time hydrological data at a glance

Climate change is confronting cities and municipalities with increasing hydrological imbalances. For example, prolonged regional droughts are causing water shortages. Heavy rain events cause flash floods and inundations. Municipal heavy rainfall management and flood prevention measures are necessary adaptations to climate change. Spekter's early warning system for heavy rainfall in cooperation with Deutsche Telekom ensures that hazardous situations are detected. It warns the population and emergency services in good time so that they can take protective measures. Spekter has developed IoT sensors for this purpose. They measure rainfall and water levels in rivers and canals. The self-sufficient units for data transmission continuously send this hydrological information to the cloud for monitoring and analysis. If the measured values exceed previously defined critical thresholds, the system warns via an app developed by Spekter. 

Smart solution from Deutsche Telekom and Spekter: Warning of heavy rain with AI.

Smart solution from Deutsche Telekom and Spekter: Warning of heavy rain with AI. © Spekter GmbH

The sensors transmit the local weather and precipitation data via LTE-M.  The term stands for Long Term Evolution for Machines, a mobile communications technology for device-to-device communication. The NarrowBand IoT machine and sensor network from Deutsche Telekom ensures self-sufficient, energy-efficient, and reliable wireless networking of the level gauges and manhole cover monitors from Spekter. For this purpose, the data transmission units are equipped with a robust industrial SIM card. Thanks to Deutsche Telekom's broad network coverage and the deep penetration of NB-IoT, transmission always works reliably – even from underground ducts or underpasses that are particularly prone to flooding. Extensive fallback solutions to all available Deutsche Telekom network technologies as well as national roaming further safeguard uninterrupted communication. 

Artificial intelligence analyzes the hydrological information in real time. This gives municipal and regional emergency services and those responsible a precise overview of weather developments and the risk situation during heavy rain events. And gain valuable time to protect the population and infrastructure. 

Well prepared: "getting ahead of the situation" with an early warning system

"States and municipalities have recognized how great the need for action is in risk management for heavy rain events. With our early warning system, we provide emergency services with a valuable time gain of up to half an hour before flooding occurs," says Reinhard Brodrecht, Managing Director of Spekter GmbH. "To do this, we use network technology from Deutsche Telekom. Deutsche Telekom's high level of coverage and precise network coverage calculations are crucial to the reliability of the solution for us and our customers." What's more, "We are growing and constantly gaining new customers – nationally and now also internationally. With Deutsche Telekom as our technology and implementation partner, we are ideally positioned for this. Thanks to the international availability of LTE-M and NB-IoT, it is easy to provide our solution flexibly."

Visit us at Digital X 2023.
Digital X is coming back to Cologne on September 20 and 21, 2023. With stages, marketplaces, brand houses and top-class speakers, Cologne's city center will become a world exhibition of digitalization in 2023 once more. Megatrends of the future and digital solutions will be brought to life - in the areas of future of work, connected business, security and sustainability. Digital X is Europe's largest cross-industry digitization initiative, organized by Deutsche Telekom with more than 300 national and international partners involved. For more details, visit

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