Smart metering: Germany sees Vodafone and Alca-Lu offer joint solution

With pressure building on consumers to reduce their energy usage, Vodafone and Alcatel-Lucent have announced a partnership that will see them develop an end-to-end smart metering service for the German market.

The service will be implemented initially by the Stadtwerke Pasewalk, a municipal utility that operates in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which will enable consumers to access real-time information about their energy usage and make more informed decisions about their consumption of electricity, gas and water.

Vodafone Germany said it would be providing the connection from the smart meter and the Alca-Lu supplied management system using either GPRS or ADSL. The Alca-Lu management system will include a link to the operational management systems of energy suppliers.

As the EU prepares to issue new rules covering the use of smart metering, the UK government has announced that by 2020 every UK household will have a smart meter installed to help save energy. What was lacking from this statement was who would fund this initiative that is estimated to cost £9 billions to install the 43 million meters over the 10 year deployment phase.

However, Richard Hanks, smart metering leader from consultancy Accenture, said that although the figure was large, it would work out at less than £2 per UK household per year over the 10 year period.

NSN has also recently stated that it intends to enter the smart metering market by working with partners. The company claims that it could use its existing [email protected] software--that is presently used to manage and invoice over 500 million telecoms subscribers worldwide--as the basis for its smart metering management system. Also of note was the European alliance T-Mobile made in September with M2M specialist Sierra Wireless.

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