Smart meter infrastructure strategy

Project experience | Strategy

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Smart metering can help control costs and control consumption – making it a green choice, as well as a sound investment. We recently worked with a major Western European utility company to explore its future strategy in response to changes in the market, including assessing opportunities around smart grids and smart metering.

The company wanted to know if its telecoms subsidiary, with a tower and fibre network, could support smart meter initiatives. We conducted a technology review to understand the latest wireless networking infrastructure and conducted a spectrum review.

We then assessed the suitability of the company's communications and electricity infrastructure for hosting smart metering equipment, including developing link budgets, producing coverage plots using radio planning software, and analysing population distribution to inform coverage scenarios.

We then developed network architectures and assumptions on which the cost models would be based and agreed these with the client. This allowed us to model the costs of a number of scenarios, and compared the use of a self-owned communications networks with that of a managed service.

Our support provided concrete information for our client to make a decision on what represents a critical investment in infrastructure roll-out.

Our business plan modelled the demand for, and revenue from, each of the planned services – Internet access, voice and TV– in each of the sample regions.