Why cellular connectivity provides the robust, secure foundation for new revenues in smart metering


Smart metering of electricity, gas and water consumption is playing a vital role as utility companies seek more accurate, granular and timely data to operate their businesses more efficiently and address the need to manage increased demand for applications such as charging electric vehicles. At the same time, the energy industry is being transformed by the need to reduce its environmental impact. This is seeing increased two-way traffic as buildings become energy generators from renewable sources such as solar and wind.

Utilities therefore need to gather and analyze data not only on consumption but also on generation and balance this with expected demand from across the grid. The richness of meter data, and crucially its transmission, is enabling electricity grids to avoid brown-outs, in which electricity availability becomes constrained, as well as identification of frauds and wastage. In the water and gas industry, meter data is similarly being used to identify leakage and frauds and to enable more accurate billing and charging.

The core application of a smart meter continues to be simply the metering, the accurate counting of what has been consumed. However, adding smartness to meters enables utility companies to provide additional value to customers and partners, rather than retrospectively counting consumption for reporting purposes. It is this smartness that gives the meter the potential to become a hub for other appliances and services in the home and to generate additional revenues for utility companies.