Telefónica UK has been chosen as one of the preferred communications service providers for the UK’s smart meter roll-out. Subject to contract, it’ll provide communications services across the Centre and South regions in a deal worth £1.5 billion over 15 years. The provider for the North region is infrastructure company Arqiva, with a deal worth £625 million over 15 years.
The Smart Metering Implementation Programme will see energy suppliers replacing over 53 million gas and electricity meters in around 30 million UK homes and small businesses by 2020. Consumers will be able to see near real-time information on their energy use, while suppliers will be given accurate data for billing without the need to manually read meters.
Telefonica’s proposed solution is based on the O2 mobile network in the UK, backed up by the use of ‘mesh’ technology in areas without cellular coverage. Arqiva’s solution uses long-range Sensus radio communications.
David Plumb, Digital & New Business Director of Telefónica UK, said “Telefónica is extremely proud to have been selected by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as a preferred bidder for the UK Smart Meter Implementation programme. It’s a huge endorsement of cellular as the right communications technology and of our vision for smart meters to be the foundation of a smarter energy future for the UK. The decision is subject to contracts and we are working with the DECC on next steps and will be making a further announcement in due course.”
John Cresswell, CEO of Arqiva, said “The choice of Arqiva as the preferred bidder to provide the smart metering communications service in the North reflects the proven technical superiority of our solution. We are pleased to be working with the both the industry and government to create a new smart network to meet the needs of today's consumers in the North.”
[Department of Energy & Climate Change policy]
|We spoke to telecoms consultant Ross Catley in July 2010 to learn about the technology, the opportunities and the potential pitfalls of smart metering. You can listen to the interview via the built-in audio player on our website or by downloading the MP3 file.