BT has formed a partnership with Arqiva and Detica to build a dedicated radio network designed for 'smart metering' in the UK. Existing GSM and GPRS technology has been used for most of the projects so far.
The UK Government has previously said it wants all homes to have smart meters by 2020, with Ofgem expected to publish more details this month. BT, Arqiva and Detica say they'll launch their proposal in September after the prospectus has been published.
It looks likely that Arqiva’s radio spectrum and infrastructure would be used, with Detica providing information and infrastructure security services. In addition, US-based Sensus would provide its FlexNet smart meter radio technology.
BT says long range radio can provide truly nationwide coverage and dependable reception indoors, unlike conventional mobile services. The use of dedicated licensed spectrum will also ensure the security of data.
Olivia Garfield, BT Group Strategy Director, said "Smart meters will use telecommunications to deliver important environmental benefits and so BT is determined to be at the heart of the project. It is vital that any solution is designed for ubiquitous coverage of homes and is thoroughly secure and resilient. We believe that long range radio is the only technology to offer nationwide coverage and we will release more detail in a series of events in September."
'Smart meters' are designed to replace conventional utility meters for gas and electricity, using two-way communication to display information on energy use in the home and send meter readings to the energy supplier.