Tag Archives: smart meters

Sagemcom brings on field first european LTE cat1 smart meter for DSO Enexis in Netherlands

Image result for sagemcom logo

This month, Enexis Netbeheer starts large scale rollout of Sagemcom ESMR5 smart electricity meters with mobile LTE cat1 communication technology.

This massive rollout follows successful joined achievements in between Enexis Netbeheer and Sagemcom including final system Integration, Field Test period monitoring and LTE cat1 Radio performance completeness proven by 3rd Party accredited Laboratory.

One and a half year after the award, Sagemcom is delivering to Enexis Netbeheer XS210 single phase Meter and T210 three phase meter for massive rollout.

Through the use of Wireless Mbus communication, Sagemcom ESMR5 smart electricity meters are fully interoperable with all ESMR5 compliant smart gas meters. This new combination of electricity and gas meters will offer real time information on energy consumption in order to reduce energy usage and significantly decrease energy costs for customers.

According to Haico Hangx, Program Manager Smart Meter Development at Enexis Netbeheer: ”we are eager to speed up the roll out with Sagemcom ESMR5 smart electricity meters and we would like to highlight the quality of the partnership with Sagemcom, which has demonstrated its ability to collaborate with Enexis Netbeheer by designing, implementing and producing the smart electricity meters in full compliancy with ESMR5 specifications”

With this start of massive rollout Sagemcom confirms its leadership in Smart Metering in Europe and its position as top multi technologies smart meter solutions partner. Commenting on this start of rollout, Jean-Philippe Sacriste, Director of Sagemcom Energy department, said: “Sagemcom is very proud to be a long term technology and industrial partner to Enexis. It is also key for us to demonstrate one more time that by choosing Sagemcom our customers have the warranty to fulfill their ambition for Smart Metering roll out and grid management capabilities.”

Based in Rueil Malmaison, Sagemcom, owned by its employees at 30%, is a French company that designs and manufactures communication terminals especially in the Energy, Telecom and Broadband areas. Every day, 250 dedicated people located in Rueil-Malmaison (head office of Sagemcom) contribute to the research, the development, the design and the marketing of meters, data concentrators and software suite for the management of electricity, gas, and water.

Source: Sagemcom

IoT-Connected Smart Meters Are Enabling the Internet of Energy

In 1859, in an unremarkable Pennsylvania field, oil was struck for the first time, changing an industry and transforming the world. Oil had many more uses than coal, leading to faster ships, warmer homes—and eventually the combustible engine.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is now poised to be the most transformative force in the energy industry since that black-gold day. But, as with all revolutions, digital transformation is disruptive, and innovation is needed to gain competitive advantage. The adoption of IoT technology means that the industry has increasing access to cellular data, and the market itself is starting to fragment as grids become decentralized.

To stay competitive, many utility companies have turned to smart meters. These IoT-enabled devices are more efficient and ensure more accurate diagnostics and billing. But one of the contradictions of modern life is that the technology that allows us to do amazing things often leaves us more vulnerable to it malfunctioning. And while smart meters are a great idea in theory, they can fall short without a consistent cellular connection—currently lacking in many environments.

That’s why businesses like Aidon, a progressive European technology company that specializes in advanced smart metering and smart grid solutions, are embracing Sierra Wireless Smart SIMs to ensure they have resilient connectivity. Promising reliable backend communication, Smart SIM technology is enabling the next step forward in the utilities industry.

The Challenge of Smart Meters
Aidon, which operates primarily in Finland, Norway and Sweden, is at the forefront of smart meter technology. Their smart meters offer a streamlined way of communicating with backend systems on important metrics, such as data usage and electrical quality. The meters monitor low-voltage grids and distribution substations, helping ensure the faultless delivery of electricity to end users. Utilizing their internal mesh radio solution, they collect data from more than a hundred meters in a local neighborhood into a local hub, where it is transferred via the mobile network to the datacenter.

As with all other IoT devices, this system requires constant connection. Lack of connection means a decrease in the agreed service level and, in regions with particularly challenging topography, such as the mountainous Nordic countries served by Aidon, that’s difficult with traditional SIMs. Aidon turned to Sierra Wireless—and Smart SIMs—for an optimal reliable wide area network solution.

Smart SIMs Provide Full Connectivity to Smart Meters
Smart SIMs are optimized for the IoT, with its wealth of connections, as well as for existing cellular structures. This is because they are not beholden to any one network. Instead, they’re programmed to automatically select the best available. If one signal is weak, the Smart SIM can easily switch to the next, ensuring unbroken communication with backend systems.

Every local hub Aidon deploys in the field is equipped with a Sierra Wireless SIM card. This Smart SIM allows for access to nearly every operator in any given location—anywhere in the world. By using a patented smart network steering technology, Smart SIMs can connect dynamically to the ideal carrier network any time a data-service failure is detected.

There is also an element of choice: The Smart SIM’s electronic profile can be defined according to customer preference. In other words, it can do more than just select the strongest signal—it can be programmed to select the signal that’s best for your meters.

This eliminates steering issues and eradicates the costly downtime that comes when a device must repeatedly hunt for an appropriate connection. We estimate that a typical utility company could save up to 30% over five years by making the switch to Smart SIMs. This also has the downstream effect of reducing costs for end users.

The Sierra Wireless AirVantage IoT Platform

But having data at all times is one thing. Managing it is another. Sierra Wireless’ AirVantage IoT Platform, can help utility companies take this next step.

AirVantage offers an integrated and easy-to-use approach to collecting and transmitting smart meter data. It’s a connectivity management interface that allows companies to order, place, and track all their SIM cards, as well as their connectivity subscriptions.

AirVantage handles all the management activities that are necessary to keep Aidon’s devices online and communicating. This includes:

  • Remote monitoring and updating. AirVantage lets companies know about and fix potential problems before they impact their customers.
  • Organization and storage of transmitted data. Each of your technicians needs to be able to access well-organized smart meter data. AirVantage makes that data available on a variety of applications, such as the portal that you use to monitor statuses and schedule deliveries.
  • Customer management. In the Information Age, customers demand the ability to understand and control their usages and expenditures. We can help you give this to them. The AirVantage platform can also be used in conjunction with the mobile apps many customers use to view and manage their accounts.

A Look to the Future: Smart SIMs and eUICCs to Unlock Every Market
Europe is leading the way with both smart meters and Smart SIMs. Some areas have yet to embrace the technology, but this wave of transformation is unavoidable and is beginning to spread to other continents. It is easy to see why. To harness the power of the IoT, other countries must start preparing to embrace flexible networking.

And it doesn’t stop with Smart SIMs. The transformation of the energy sector is ongoing. The next wave of Smart SIMs are poised to include embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Cards (eUICCs). These offer utility companies even more flexibility since they will allow you to change carriers by downloading new operator profiles over the air. Since the SIM cards in smart meters are designed to last in the field for 10-15 years, this will enable more flexibility, as IoT devices need to operate for years yet keep pace with changes in service.

It’s economically infeasible to send technicians to manually switch every single one of your SIM cards every time you want to change carriers. The ability to switch automatically ensures that SIMs will remain fully functional for the lifetime of the IoT device, which could significantly reduce service costs. eUICC systems have yet to be deployed in Europe but are likely to be rolled out this year.

This coming Internet of Energy will change the way utilities, businesses, and individuals use their resources. But like any great technology, the front end is dependent on reliable infrastructure on the backend. Smart SIMs give meters the flexibility they need to ensure full coverage, and eUICCs will help provide continued long-term viability in the field.

No matter the topography, no matter the country, connectivity is key to fulfilling the potential of the IoT. That’s why Aidon turned to Sierra Wireless. Our Smart SIM system allowed them to revolutionize energy use in challenging conditions. Start with Sierra to learn more about how our innovative wireless solutions can help your company prepare for the Internet of Energy revolution, or listen to our expert panel webinar with Aidon presenting.

Co-Star supply the range of Sierra Wireless Routers. Click here for more information>

 

 

Verizon to roll out new LTE IoT solution for Neptune Technology Group to drive sustainability in water industry

VERIZON

Verizon to roll out new LTE IoT solution for Neptune Technology Group to drive sustainability in water industry

Gas and electric utilities also poised to benefit from new low power/low bandwidth IoT solutions from Verizon

 

Verizon have announced that it will provide a new Cat M1 IoT (Internet of Things) solution for industry-leading water metering technology provider Neptune Technology Group. The solution is designed to equip Neptune with a robust, scalable and secure connectivity platform to help water utility companies reduce costs and accelerate sustainability efforts. This is part of a range of initiatives Verizon is working on to deliver innovative IoT solutions tailored to meet the complex needs of other types of utilities, including reducing development costs, improving integration requirements and reducing time to implementation.

“We are excited to work with Verizon to develop next-generation IoT products to help address the many challenges faced by water utilities,” said Don Deemer, executive vice president, Neptune Technology Group. “We’ve leveraged Neptune’s expertise in rugged water utility endpoints and have combined that with Verizon’s Technologies’ technical expertise to deliver a compelling offering. The collaboration has resulted in a long-life AMI network that eliminates the utility’s need to deploy and manage network infrastructure.”

Announced at the start of CTIA Super Mobility 2016, key solutions that Verizon is bringing to bear for the utilities industry include:

  • A Category 1 IoT solution on 4G LTE ideal for the connectivity requirements of rural cooperative and municipal electric utilities. The solution utilizes Qualcomm Technologies’ MDM9207-1 LTE modem engineered for IoT, providing built-in security and features including edge processing and reliable connectivity up to 10 Mbps speed with power and throughput optimization. To meet the requirements of utility customers, the chipset also supports up to 10 years of battery life at a cost-effective price point.
  • A Category M1 solution for water and gas companies. Qualcomm Technologies’ MDM9206 LTE modem is a key component and features a purpose-built IoT design suitable for applications such as battery powered water and gas smart metering applications that demand even lower power consumption and longer range, reliable connectivity with up to 1 Mbps speed, and all at a cost-efficient price point. Solutions based on MDM9206 are expected to be commercially available in early 2017.

For its part, Verizon will leverage its Grid Wide Utility (as-a-service) solution, which includes integrating smart meters with Verizon 4G LTE Category 1 and M1 Smart Meter Communications Device, Verizon’s 4G LTE network, security and a range of cloud-based applications to support smart metering, demand response, meter data management, and distribution monitoring and control. Customers will also have access to flexible deployment options combined with other RF communication technology offered in a highly-integrated package that reduces costs, design complexity and integration time. Verizon currently supports more than 3 million utility meters on its network nationwide.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Neptune to invest in R&D that helps to reduce barriers commonly associated with IoT such as fragmented ecosystems and a lack of standards,” said Mark Bartolomeo, vice president IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon. “Driving innovation on 4G LTE to deliver a unified, reliable, scalable and secure platform optimized for IoT deployments is core to our strategy.”

“Utilities drive some of the most demanding connectivity requirements within the Internet of Things,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “4G LTE networks such as Verizon’s, together with our LTE modem solutions, have evolved to meet or exceed those demands, and these products deliver the ubiquitous coverage, scalability, quality of service, reliability, long battery life, and security required to support utility operations.”

Source: Verizon

South Korea launches commercial IoT network

Seoul-South-Korea

SK Telecom have announced the completion of the nationwide deployment of Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN)* in South Korea based on LoRa technology; the launch of price plans for LoRa-based IoT services; and its plans to vitalize the IoT ecosystem.

The company finished building LoRaWAN across the country by end of June, six months earlier than its initial schedule, covering 99 percent of the population. By securing both nationwide LTE-M and LoRaWAN, which are two main pillars of the IoT network, SK Telecom said that it is now fully ready to create valuable business opportunities in the IoT era. The company had completed nationwide LTE-M rollout in March, 2016.

To promote the growth of the IoT market, SK Telecom plans to offer attractive price plans and develop innovative IoT services, while offering strong support for SMEs. To this end, the company will invest a total of KRW 100 billion by the end of 2017. It expects these efforts to lead to rapid expansion of the IoT industry by connecting over 4 million things to its IoT-dedicated networks by the end of 2017.

SK Telecom unveiled new price plans for LoRaWAN-based IoT services. The “Band IoT” plans come in six different tiers – i.e. from Band IoT 35 (approx. USD 0.3) priced at KRW 350 to Band IoT 200 priced at KRW 2,000(approx. USD 1.75) – depending on data use (refer to table 1) to allow SK Telecom’s customers – both enterprises and individuals – to choose one that suits the needs of their services. The Band Lora plans are highly affordable – costing merely one-tenth of SK Telecom’s LTE-based IoT services – and thus are expected to support active development and provision of diverse IoT services by easing the cost burden of startups and SMEs. The company is also offering diverse discount benefits for enterprise customers depending on their contract period and the number of lines they use.

For instance, a gas meter, which transmits relatively a small amount of data can be used by signing up for Band IoT 35, while a service that requires real-time communication like lighting control service can be used by signing up for Band IoT 200.

 

Considering the characteristics of the LPWA network, SK Telecom plans to develop services in the areas of metering, tracking and monitoring.

In the area of metering, the company is currently focusing on Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)*, which enables the utilities companies to not only accurately measure/monitor usage but also control the metering devices. SK Telecom has been conducting a pilot project on AMI with SK E&S since November 2015, and plans to expand the service coverage to more regions of the country in July 2016. Going forward, the company will launch AMI services for other utilities including water and electricity.

* Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is an architecture for automated, two-way communication between a smart utility meter with an IP address and a utility company. AMI is expected to enhance user convenience and safety through its sophisticated remote metering & control features as well as automatic safety capabilities.

SK Telecom is also developing in tracking services to identify and track the location of vehicles, people/things, and assets. In cooperation with the local governments, the company plans to launch “Safe Watch,” a wearable designed to enhance the safety of children and the elderly in July 2016.

Moreover, SK Telecom will offer monitoring services capable of controlling and managing manufacturing/public/commercial facilities. For instance, monitoring service for a company that has a large-scale production facility will ensure that the equipment within the facility are operated in an optimal manner and the production environment is kept safe at all times. Environmental monitoring of CO2 concentration, temperature/humidity, as well as hazardous substances – e.g., measuring concentration levels of radon in the atmosphere and soil – can also be provided. In August 2016, SK Telecom will start an environmental monitoring service at Changjo (Creative) Village in Sejong.

Furthermore, the company plans to launch a total of 20 LoRa-based IoT services by the end of 2016, including a manhole monitoring service (in September) and a real-time shared parking service (in October).

Besides developing and launching IoT services of its own, SK Telecom will be making multifaceted efforts to vitalize the IoT ecosystem by encouraging the participation of developers, SMEs and startups. To this end, the company plans to set up a comprehensive program named ‘Partner Hub Program’ to nurture partners. Through the program, SK Telecom will share its expertise and knowhow, provide training and conduct joint development/ marketing.

To support the development of IoT services and devices, SK Telecom will create a space called ‘IoT Open Testbed’ for SMEs and startups at its Bundang Building to offer a one-stop development environment – which encompasses network, device and platform – for IoT services. At IoT Open Testbed, SMEs and startups will be able to verify their IoT devices, carry out tests to check interworking between their device and the IoT network/platform, and receive technical/service consultation.

SK Telecom also began providing LoRa modules free of charge on July 1, 2016. Aimed at facilitating the development and launch of LoRa services, the company will provide a total of 100,000 units of LoRa modules for free. Also, the low cost of the LoRa module – which is just one-fifth of that of an existing LTE module – will contribute to the development of the wide variety of IoT devices.

“SK Telecom is proud to announce the nationwide deployment of LoRaWAN as it marks the first important step towards realizing connectivity between infinite number of things, going beyond the traditional role of telecommunications centered on connectivity between people,” said Lee Hyung-hee, President of Mobile Network Business at SK Telecom. “Going forward, SK Telecom will develop and offer a wide variety of IoT services designed to offer new value for customers, while working closely with partners including SMEs and startups to vitalize the IoT ecosystem.”

Source: SK Telecom

Sierra Wireless supplies Connectivity for European Smart Gas Meter Deployment

 Sierra Wireless AirPrime modules selected by Itron for smart gas metering deployments in Europe

sierra wireless

AirPrime HL modules well-suited to provide cellular connectivity to meet growing need for smart gas meters, with low power requirements that enable battery operation over long lifespan
Sierra Wireless  today announced that Itron has selected AirPrime HL Series modules to enable cellular connectivity in its latest line of smart gas meters. The point-to-point residential meters will begin shipping later this quarter to support smart metering initiatives across Europe, beginning with a deployment in Italy.
Itron selected Sierra Wireless based on the company’s smart metering expertise and the global reach the AirPrime HL Series provides. The two companies have previously announced their collaboration to provide smart electrical meters. This is the first time they have collaborated to provide connected gas meters.
“We look forward to combining Itron’s expertise in smart gas technologies, and in particular with battery-powered devices, with Sierra Wireless’ experience in providing wireless solutions for the energy industry, which enables us to deliver the highest level of service to our customers,” said Guillaume Garros, vice president of global solutions marketing for gas at Itron. “Sierra Wireless provides both the expertise in smart metering requirements and an innovative solution to meet the low-power consumption requirements for our new gas metering projects. In addition, the Sierra Wireless modules enable us to leverage a single design for worldwide deployments and across multiple generations of our products as the technology evolves.”
The HL Series uses the new CF3™ form factor from Sierra Wireless, which is footprint-compatible across product lines and network technologies and will remain fully interchangeable with future versions of the modules, including those for LTE-M networks when they become available. LTE-M technology is expected to provide a highly efficient cellular LPWA (Low-Power Wide Area) technology option for smart metering and smart grid applications, with lower radio-frequency complexity, significantly reduced power consumption (up to 10 years of service on a single AA battery), better in-building signal penetration, and lower costs. Sierra Wireless is an active contributor to the LTE-M standard definition process within the 3GPP and has committed to launching compatible modules timed with network deployments, expected to begin in 2017.
“We are seeing significant interest from utilities in expanding smart metering from electrical grids to initiatives in gas metering as well,” said Dan Schieler, Senior Vice President, OEM Solutions for Sierra Wireless. “We are pleased to expand our collaboration with Itron to address these opportunities with innovative solutions that meet the stringent power requirements of these applications and provide a clear technology path as networks evolve to better support the Internet of Things.”
Co-Star supply the full range of Sierra Wireless routers for all types of connectivity. Please visit our website for more information or call us on +44 (0) 1423 340066.

Telefonica to provide M2M services to GrDF’s smart gas meter project

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Telefonica Business Solutions is one of the key suppliers chosen by GrDF for its m2m Smart Meters Gas project. This contract highlights Telefonica’s expertise in m2m technology and its position as a key player on the energy & utilities market.
The new French and European smart meters implementation regulations are designed to better control energy consumption. To achieve this, GrDF chose to upgrade its metering system with its new meter GAZPAR; a project worth 1 billion euros in investments.
The project will start with a pilot phase in 2015 with the aim to equip 11 million users with a smart meter by 2022. Telefonica’s Smart m2m platform provides a connectivity solution adapted to the needs of GrDF’s smart meter project while also offering new fleet management features. Ultimately, the system will connect up to 15,000 hubs throughout France and will provide mobility tools for GrDF operational teams. The remote system will then record data on a daily basis. With this independent platform provided by Telefonica consumers will benefit from full data protection.
Smart Gas Grids: bringing social, economic and environmental innovations
A first step towards better energy consumption management, GrDF’s smart gas meter project GAZPAR involves the deployment of Smart Gas Grids also called intelligent energy networks. m2m technologies allow smart meters to provide further technological information and new communications features.
Daniel Jimenez, Enterprise and Multinationals CEO, Telefonica Business Solutions: “Thanks to this key deal, as well as the agreement with the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DEEC) to deliver smart meters communications, Telefonica extends its expertise in the smart metering arena”.
Patrick Dradoise, GrDF Gas Smart Meter Program Director: “The future belongs to energy networks that communicate and which we call Smarts Gas Grids. These smart meters are the first step in more ambitious projects, such as distributed power production or the injection of biogas like biomethane into natural gas networks”.
This agreement reinforces Telefonica’s position as a provider of telecommunications services to multinationals in the French market where the telco has recently announced the creation of a joint commercial organization with Bouygues Telecom to generate new business sales both within France and internationally. 
Source: Telefonica

Antennas & Cable Assemblies for improving Smart Meter performance

C23SP-SSmart Meters can be installed in remote areas with limited network coverage so antennas & RF cable assemblies play an integral part in the performance of the Smart Meters in these situations.  Co-Star supply a range of Panorama antennas that offer excellent performance across a wide bandwidth which are designed to improve the network coverage and enable better performance when transferring and monitoring data over the cellular network the performance of the devices.

Good network coverage is vital to the performance of a smart-meter and a good quality antenna can improve the performance  by  maximising the signal strength and enhancing  the LPB-7-27-200x200network coverage.

Co-Star have a specialised range of Panorama antennas for smart meter applications that work across all cellular frequencies including: GSM/2G/3G/4G and have different mounting options to suit the location, environment & type of device.

RF Coaxial Cable Assemblies

Co-Star also manufacture RG58 low loss coaxial cable assemblies used to extend the cables on antennas. These can be supplied in any length and with any combination of connector including: SMA, FME, TNC, N series and even Reverse Polarity connectors. We manufacture these in the UK and can turn them around very quickly so if you have an urgent requirement than please let us know. We can also manufacture cable assemblies using other low loss coaxial cables including LMR400 for applications that require long extensions.

Below are a few different option of the antennas & cable assemblies that we supply but we have many more. Please call or e-mail us for more information: t: +44 (0) 1423 340066 e: sales@co-star.co.uk

Antenna Smart Meter/M2M/Vending Machine Cellular

Low Profile Cellular & LTE Multiband Antenna Panorama

FME Female – FME Male RG58 Cable Extension (5m)

The M2M World Alliance unveils solution for Global adoption of M2M communications

17 December 2013, London – The M2M World Alliance, which is comprised of Etisalat, KPN, NTT DOCOMO, Rogers, SingTel, Telefonica, Telstra and VimpelCom, today officially unveiled its solution which aims to simplify and promote the adoption of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications worldwide.

The unique solution will leverage the operators’ combined global presence to the benefit of customers who are looking for a regional or global M2M deployment. It allows companies to enjoy connectivity throughout the Alliance coverage area with in-market rates. Additional benefits include easier compliance with local market regulations and the potential for multinationals to provide global technical support from a single market.

The name ‘M2M World Alliance’ has recently been created to identify the group’s coordinated operations. Its multi-coloured logo represents the Alliance’s aspiration to coordinate the delivery of M2M services globally.

“We believe that our unique and seamless solution will drive rapid growth in the adoption of M2M communications worldwide by giving our customers the ability to operate connected devices globally at a reduced cost,” said Angel David Garcia Barrio, Chairman of the M2M World Alliance. “With operations in more than 60 countries, the Alliance’s global footprint presents multinational organizations with a seamless approach to deploying connected devices in multiple countries at one time.”

M2M communications are used when machines – a broad term for equipment used in all sorts of industries, including consumer electronics, utilities, agriculture and construction – connect and exchange information with information technology infrastructure. It is considered by many as the latest stage in the internet’s evolution: when cyberspace reaches beyond the traditional confines of computers to connect to any device with a microprocessor.

Major growth areas identified by the M2M World Alliance for its global solution include connected cars, fleet management, smart meters, consumer electronics, game consoles, wearable electronics, telehealth and security solutions.

“The solution, articulated through the Alliance members, will offer the best services support, more optimized processes and a more contrasted experience. We are totally convinced, this innovative solution, will raise the interest of a considerable number of customers through a plethora of sectors.” Said Carlos Morales, Telefónica Global M2M Managing Director.

Global M2M connections will grow from approximately two billion today to reach 18 billion in 2022, according to a study by Machina Research, a London-based consulting firm focused on emerging opportunities with new forms of connected device.

Details of the Alliance’s products and coverage areas can be found on its new website, www.m2mworldalliance.com.

Cellular technology crucial to powering smart meter roll-outs and connected homes

A new report commissioned by Telefónica Digital determines that cellular, supplemented with small-scale RF mesh networking, is the best option for connecting smart meters

The global and open nature of cellular smart meter systems creates opportunities to  build connected, innovative home services on top of the platform

Cellular technologies, and not closed-off proprietary solutions, are the best solution for connecting smart meter systems across the world according to a new report from the Centre for Communication Systems Research at the University of Surrey.

 

The report is available to download here.

 

The report shows that a combination of cellular and mesh represents the ideal communications technology for smart meter deployments. Cellular is a proven, open, standards-based technology that is ready to support the needs of smart meters without requiring additional infrastructure.

 

Cellular future-proofs the smart home

The new research paper found that cellular technology will future proof smart meters – the cornerstone and the communications hub of the connected home – enabling smart grid, smart home and e-health revolutions, all currently in their infancy. The university report, commissioned by Telefónica Digital, found that the clear roadmap and continued development of cellular will support the smart meter as the technology continues to evolve to focus on high-speed capabilities, rich data services and an expansive coverage footprint.

 

The connected home market will reach $101bn (Visiongain) by the end of 2013 offering enormous economic opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs building connected services. The open, global standards-based nature of cellular technologies means services and products can be easily built on top of smart meter systems and rolled out globally with new smart meter deployments. Whereas proprietary systems limit innovation as smart home products cannot be rolled out effectively worldwide because they have to be re-engineered to support different systems and standards.

 

Smart meter connectivity

The Surrey University research found that cellular provides the best breadth of coverage and commercial viability to connecting smart meters. Cellular coverage is well-established and extends to the majority of the habited world. For the remaining population, the report recommends mesh technology supplements cellular, providing coverage in more remote areas and hard to reach spaces.

 

The report also outlines the following benefits of cellular technologies in rolling-out smart meter systems:

 

  • Global standard – cellular technology has high scalability with more than five billion connections worldwide and is based on Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) meaning global inter-operability
  • Affordable cost – the connectivity cost is decreasing continuously and the cellular solution is commercially cost effective through global economies of scale
  • Real-time communications – average latency in the milliseconds
  • Trusted technology – the mobile cellular business has a deep understanding of security, information privacy, quality of service and overall experience. Cellular technology is trusted by government and finance sectors
  • Customer experience – cellular operators have rich heritage in understanding  customers’ needs and  bring more than 27 years of experience dealing with people and businesses

 

UK Government backing

Cellular was recently validated further when the UK Government selected the technology solution to deliver the majority of its smart meter roll-out across the country. Telefónica UK was awarded two out of the three communications service provider lots within the overall UK Smart Meter Implementation Programme (SMIP) tender. The initiative is the world’s most ambitious smart meter roll-out which will see over 53m gas and electricity smart meters installed across the UK by 2020.

 

Smart meters are key for managing energy systems more efficiently in the future and providing new information and services to consumers which reduce costs and carbon emissions. The £11bn UK smart meter programme is expected to deliver a net benefit to the UK of £6.7bn through reduced energy consumption and more efficient management and deployment of energy across the country. It is estimated that a smart meter enabled industry could save 2bn tonnes of Co2 a year in 2020 (source: Smart 2020: enabling the low carbon economy in the information Age).

 

About the research

The research was undertaken by Professor Rahim Tafazolli. He  is  the  Director  of  the  Centre  for  Communications  Systems  Research  (CCSR)  and  5G Innovation  Centre  (5GIC),  Faculty  of  Engineering  and  Physical  Sciences,  The  University  of Surrey in the UK.

 

He has published more than 500 research papers in refereed journals, international conferences and as invited speaker.  He is the editor of two books on “Technologies for Wireless Future” published by Wiley’s Vol.1in 2004 and Vol.2 2006. He is currently chairman of EU Net!Works Technology Platform Expert Group, board member of the UK Future Internet Strategy Group (UK-FISG).

 

He was the lead academic on IoT UK Strategic Research, Development and Innovation Agenda, a study jointly sponsored by TSB and RCUK (EPSRC, AHRC and ESRC).

 

Recently, with his team, he actively contributed to the Machine Type Communication to 3GPP RAN1 Technical Report (TR36.888).

 

He was appointed as Fellow of WWRF (Wireless World Research Forum) in April 2011, in recognition  of  his  personal  contribution  to  the  wireless  world.

Source: Telefonica

 

Arqiva signs £625 million contract to provide smart metering communications service

Arqiva has signed the contract to provide the communications service for smart meters in Scotland and northern England.

• Smart metering communications network will support the mass rollout of smart meters and become part of Britain’s critical national infrastructure

• Proven technology will enable Government timetable and benefits to be achieved

Arqiva, the prime contractor, will invest in a new smart communications network and associated equipment. This will provide a private, secure and resilient communications service to support the mass rollout of smart meters from the end of 2015. Sensus will provide the smart metering communications technology for the new network. EDMI will deliver the communications hubs that will be needed to connect smart meters and In-Home Displays (IHDs) in each home.

The Government estimates smart metering will deliver around £7 billion in benefits to homes and businesses nationwide, and is an integral part of Britain’s digital and energy-efficient future. Communications technology plays a crucial role – smart meters depend on the two way communication of data so that consumers can benefit from more accurate billing as well as real-time information to put them in control of managing and saving energy.

John Cresswell, CEO, Arqiva, commented:

“Following the news a few weeks ago on preferred bidders, Arqiva is immensely proud to have won the tender to provide the smart metering communications service in Scotland and northern England. This reflects the strength of our proven solution and our exceptional track record in delivering and running critical national infrastructure. Smart meters are vital in empowering consumers to save energy and this is the first step in delivering an energy secure Britain.”

Arqiva’s solution, through successful UK trials, has demonstrated its suitability for deployment in rural and urban areas throughout Great Britain. The solution is based on Sensus technology that has been successfully deployed internationally in more than 16 million smart meters and devices. It is capable of supporting the evolution of smart services more broadly, and through trials has already proved to be an efficient means of building a smart utility network.

Sensus Chairman Lou D’Ambrosio commented:

“As a proud partner in the delivery of this communications service, Sensus is delighted to serve Great Britain with clean technology that will conserve resources, reduce energy costs and lower CO2 emissions. Sensus technology is flexible and interoperable and provides financial and societal benefits for utilities and consumers in Great Britain and beyond.”

Source: Arqiva