Vodafone UK powers British Gas smart metering scheme

Vodafone UK has won a contract to provide GPRS connections for nearly one million smart meters.

The meters should make it easier for British Gas to read consumers' energy consumption and issue up-to-the-minute bills, rather than estimates.

The energy company will also be able to track real-time energy consumption for the homes that get a smart meter, which will help it manage resources more accurately.

Peter Kelly, enterprise director at Vodafone UK, said: “We’re pleased to be working with British Gas on this trial to accelerate the roll-out of smart meters into British homes. Consumers can count on our fast, reliable network to help them manage their energy costs with British Gas and do their bit to help reduce carbon emissions.”

Vodafone says the fact that its 2G and 3G networks are certified to the BS25999 business continuity standard makes it a good partner for the smart meter roll out.

Late last year Vodafone Germany agreed to work with Alcatel-Lucent to offer smart metering services for gas, electricity  and water utilities.

Alcatel-Lucent is providing a smart meterin- management system as well as the expertise to build a complete system. Vodafone Germany is providing a secure connection from the smart meters to the management system, over a fixed-line DSL connection or a wireless GPRS link.

The first utility to use the managed service will be Stadtwerke Pasewalk, a municipal utility that operates in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Vodafone began a similar smart metering project with New Zealand's Genesis Energy in 2008 to reach 500,000 homes.

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