Telefonica preferred for UK smart meter scheme

Telefonica is a step closer to winning a £1.5 billion (€1.7 billion) UK government smart metering contract, after being selected as the preferred communications supplier for a national rollout scheme.
The operator is the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s first choice for a deployment project that aims to fit 53 million smart gas and electricity meters throughout the UK by 2020. Telefonica UK is still ironing out the detail on a 15 year contract covering two of three areas in the deployment scheme, which would use the telco’s cellular network to connect meters in range of towers, and mesh technology in areas with no coverage.
David Plumb, digital and new business director of Telefónica UK, says the preferred provider status is “a huge endorsement of cellular as the right communications technology,” for smart meters.