GPRS Mobile Network for Smart Metering
Around the world, the electricity supply industry is turning to ‘smart’ meters to lower costs, reduce emissions and improve the management of customer supplies. Smart meters collect detailed consumption information and using this feedback consumers can better understand their energy usage which in turn enables them to modify their consumption to save money and help to cut carbon emissions. A smart meter can be defined in many ways, but generally includes an element of two-way communication between the household meter and the utility provider to efficiently collect detailed energy usage data. Some implementations include consumer feedback beyond the energy bill to include online web data, SMS text messages or an information display in consumers’ premises. Providing a cost-effective, reliable communications mechanism is one of the most challenging aspects of a smart meter implementation. In New Zealand, the utilities have embraced smart metering and designed cost effective ways for it to be implemented. The New Zealand government has encouraged such a move to smart metering by ensuring the energy legislation is consistent with the delivery of benefits to the consumer while allowing innovation in this area. On the ground, AMS is a leader in the deployment of smart metering and associated services. Several of New Zealand’s energy retailers were looking for smart metering services for their residential and small business customers which will eventually account for over 500,000 meters when the multi-year national deployment program is concluded. To respond to these requirements, AMS needed to put together a solution that included data communications between each meter and the central data collection point and the solution proposed by Vodafone satisfied that requirement.
Helping Enexis Power Ahead with Smart Meter Rollout
Enexis is an independent grid operator and one of the largest energy distributors in the Netherlands. Working with energy suppliers, it manages 2 million gas and 2.6 million electricity connections to customers in seven provinces, representing approximately one third of the Dutch market. In 2008, a European Union (EU) directive stipulated that 80% of energy customers must be able to monitor energy consumption by 2020. The Dutch government responded by making a legal requirement for energy operators to install smart metering technology in homes. To meet these targets, Enexis will need to deploy approximately 5 million smart meters, each transmitting energy consumption data once a day, every day. Since 2011, Enexis no longer installs conventional meters, every new meter installed in the grid is a smart meter. This means that during the first few years of rollout, smart meters are installed across the grid. To achieve this, Enexis had several options. Routing data via Power Line Connections (PLC) was impractical because, to work effectively, entire districts would have to install smart meters simultaneously. With the initial rollout limited to replacing faulty meters and new installations, this was not viable. Transmitting data via WiFi, another option, would mean home owners needing a guaranteed connection. “Because we install smart meters that are scattered across our distribution network, the most effective solution was GPRS over M2M SIMs,” says Lonneke Driessen-Mutters, Smart Metering Operations Manager at Enexis. M2M SIMs installed in smart meters would be able to transmit data via Vodafone’s comprehensive mobile coverage in the Netherlands, with no homeowner involvement and minimum installation effort. Enexis invited a number of mobile communications suppliers in the Netherlands to tender. After careful consideration, Vodafone was selected based on cost and service commitments. In addition, Enexis already had a relationship with Vodafone, as they provide approximately 3,000 of the company’s voice and data connections, so they knew the service they could expect. “We’re owned by local government, so our money is public money. The solution had to be cost effective as we have to be careful what we spend,” says Driessen-Mutters.
Real-time In-vehicle Monitoring
The telematic solution provides this vital premium-adjusting information. The solution also helps detect and deter vehicle or trailer theft – as soon as a theft occurs, monitoring personnel can alert the appropriate authorities, providing an exact location.“With more and more insurance companies and major fleet operators interested in monitoring driver behaviour on the grounds of road safety, efficient logistics and costs, the market for this type of device and associated e-business services is growing rapidly within Italy and the rest of Europe,” says Franco.“The insurance companies are especially interested in the pay-per-use and pay-as-you-drive applications while other organisations employ the technology for road user charging.”“One million vehicles in Italy currently carry such devices and forecasts indicate that the European market will increase tenfold by 2014.However, for our technology to work effectively, we needed a highly reliable wireless data network to carry the information between the vehicles and monitoring stations.”
Ericsson provides services, software and infrastructure in mobility, broadband and the cloud that enable the communications industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve their users' experience and capture new opportunities.Year founded: 1876Revenue: $26.8 billion (2014)NASDAQ: ERIC
AT&T is the second largest provider of mobile telephone and the largest provider of fixed telephone in the United States, and also provides broadband subscription television services. The company's corporate, government, and public sector clients use its conferencing, managed network, and wholesale communications services.