DT eyes Lat Am smart meter opportunity

Deutsche Telekom hopes to tap the lucrative Latin America market, but with smart energy services rather than a straight consumer telecoms play.
The market is already proving lucrative for carriers including Telefonica and Telecom Italia which each offset stagnation in Europe with growth in Latin America during the second quarter. However, Deutsche Telekom is betting on smart metering as its route to the market, and is preparing to host a delegation of Brazilian energy firms at its T-City laboratories.
Utility company representatives will be shown a project running gas, water and intelligent electricity meters in two German towns, as they evaluate the ability of smart meters to cope with soaring demand for energy. Consultancy KPMG predicts power consumption in Brazil will grow from 420,000 gigawatt hours in 2008 to 700,000 by 2020, due to population growth.
“In the area of energy, Brazil is clearly one of the future markets. We see a huge potential for smart metering, primarily because the country wishes to install 62 intelligent electricity meters by 2020,” Deutsche Telekom’s energy business head Gabriele Riedmann de Trinidad says.
Meters installed at the T-City sites use radio and DSL connections to transfer information to utility firms, with data sent at regular intervals to enable energy suppliers to balance supply with demand. Riedmann de Trinidad states Deutsche Telekom is also investigating installing meters in homes that will allow consumers to monitor and adjust energy use from a smartphone.