Use of cellular questioned for smart meter networks

A recent consultation paper published by the UK energy regulator Ofgem and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has questioned the use of cellular networks as suitable for smart metering projects.

The paper contains a 'codified rejection' of the use of cellular networks for smart meter data transfer stating that "latencies of seconds would preclude the use of some; the ability to 'broadcast' or simultaneously make contact with a number of meters within a defined time period may also preclude some solutions."

According to Ovum analyst Stuart Ravens, due to the potential for cellular network capacity constraints and problems with broadcasting to multiple endpoints, Ovum believes that Ofgem has sounded the death knell for cellular's long-term viability as a smart metering communications protocol, should advanced smart grid applications be introduced. Article