Zabel Group buys M2M solution from O2

Major new customer: Zabel Group buys M2M solution for intelligent energy meters from O2

MUNICH. When the electricity meter reader is due to visit, you often have to wait around for hours at home. And when they finally arrive at the door, their job is completed in just a few minutes. Many electricity customers will soon be able to do away with this unnecessary waiting as their meters will be read automatically via the mobile network. This new technology, for which Telefónica O2 Germany is supplying the necessary infrastructure, is called "Smart Metering".
O2 has acquired a major new customer for its machine-to-machine (M2M) communication solutions in the Essen-based Zabel Group. The business group specialising in building technology is extending its product range with intelligent energy meters that can be read via the mobile network. For this purpose, over the next two years the Zabel Group will buy 150,000 SIM cards with M2M contracts from O2. Subsequently, the regular purchase of additional cards is planned, with the order encompassing almost 700,000 units over several years. The Zabel Group will sell this new type of meter to energy suppliers, industry and companies involved in the housing sector, enabling them to read their customers' meters remotely via the mobile network. Not only will "Smart Metering" allow time to be saved when taking readings, but it will also reduce costs by enabling the management of energy consumption. For building control systems in particular, where entire buildings are monitored and managed via software, "Smart Metering" is extremely efficient. Every new Zabel electricity meter will now include an O2 SIM card as well as the associated M2M mobile contract. The group also bought 90 Blackberrys with the associated SIM cards and business contracts from O2 as well as an extensive virtual private network for the linking of company locations. In addition, the package includes the provision of landline telephony for the Zabel Group's sites. "In O2 we have found a partner that fits in perfectly with our plans in the Smart Metering field", explains Jens Zabel, Managing Directors of the Zabel Group, whose family company has been active in facility management and the energy market for 23 years. "We get everything from one source: not just M2M, but mobile communications, a network for our locations and landline telephony."
Johannes Pruchnow, Managing Director Business at Telefónica O2 Germany, adds: "We are delighted to be able to carry out a project with such an innovative service provider as the Zabel Group. Smart Metering will change the energy sector fundamentally in the next few years, and our technology will make a valuable contribution to this. M2M offers far more than just the mere transfer of data between machines. Automated communication guarantees smooth operations and enables business processes to be designed much more efficiently."
Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG belongs to Telefónica Europe and is part of the Spanish telecommunication group Telefónica S.A. The Company offers its German private and business customers postpaid and prepaid mobile telecom products as well as innovative mobile data services based on the GPRS and UMTS technologies. In addition, the integrated communications provider also offers DSL fixed network telephony and high-speed internet. Telefónica Europe has about 55 million mobile and fixed network customers in Great Britain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.