AT&T expands smart grid partnerships

AT&T continues to expand its embedded wireless vision. The company today inked a deal with Cooper Power Systems to jointly market and sell smart grid sensor devices to utility companies. The devices are certified on AT&T's wireless network and will allow utilities to receive real-time system performance data on their grids.

Specifically, AT&T will co-sell two products: the Outage Advisor and the VARAdvisor. The Outage Advisor will help utilities locate problems such as faults on the electrical lines, which will help them anticipate outages. The VARAdvisor will control the voltage supplied to consumers and reduce on-site inspections.

In an interview with FierceWireless, Abhi Ingle, vice president, industry and mobility applications solutions at AT&T, said that the agreement with Cooper is another step in AT&T's plan to become more tightly integrated with utilities. "We have teamed with suppliers and distributors of smart grids to embed wireless in the grid," Ingle said. "We are providing a road map for the utilities that is low bandwidth and low cost. It provides ease of use and remote troubleshooting."

Ingle said that AT&T expects these type of smart grid solutions to only use about 100 Kbps of data to send the monitoring information to the utility.

For more:
- see this press release

Related articles:
Smart grids: The next wireless goldmine?
Will WiFi and WiMAX become beneficiaries of the smart grid?

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