Telefónica Smart Meter Connect: Reading electrical meters via mesh networks

Telefónica has today announced its new M2M solution for electricity and gas providers, which will be presented next week at the E-World Energy & Water convention in Essen: Telefónica Smart Meter Connect is an extended communication solution for smart metering, the application of which will shortly be compulsory for a large number of electricity customers.
Smart Metering is the application of intelligent meters for electricity, gas, water or heating that indicate the current consumption at all times. With Telefónica Smart Meter Connect public utility companies can read those intelligent meters from remote via a mobile connection – reaching even those places that the network doesn’t.

Smart solution: Internet of Things available everywhere

“Telefónica Smart Meter Connect is our latest solution for building the Internet of Things. Over the next few years, billions of new devices will be connected. Smart Meters are an important component of this development,” says Timo von Lepel, Director B2B of Telefónica in Germany. “For our new product we have found a particularly clever solution of connecting even the most remote areas to the mobile internet.” This is possible using the radio technology RF mesh. Telefónica is the first provider in Germany to apply this technology for connecting intelligent meters: When required, the devices create small self-configuring data networks and use them to transfer back and forth the information on energy consumption. Each device has a SIM card of its own. As soon as one of these meters finds a sufficiently strong mobile network, it automatically transmits to the utility provider data from all the other participants in its ad-hoc network. This allows the consumption of each customer to be read several times a day.

RF mesh: The mobile network that reaches right down to the farthest basement

Applying this intelligent technology is crucial especially in Germany, where most meters for electricity and gas are installed in the basement. Using RF mesh to bridge network distances of more than 100 meters, Telefónica has solved problem widespread in the country. Comprehensive studies have shown that only 75 percent of electricity and gas meters in Germany are connected to at least one of the four mobile networks. To establish this, the M2M experts at Telefónica have read more than 1000 results from different locations in the Republic. For this reason Smart Meter Connect uses Telefónica’s so-called Global SIM, which automatically registers on the strongest mobile network available – not only on the O2 network. This latest solution is now on offer as a Managed Service, which provides public utility companies with everything they need from one source: Smart Meters and gateways, mesh networks and mobile telephony as well as the necessary software and operation of the entire solution. The interaction of all these parts can be tried out at the E-World Energy & Water in Essen on 10th February. Telefónica will build a showcase at the Galeria booth GA-162 to demonstrate the interaction of all the components. Trade visitors are invited to stop by. Our experts for energy solutions will be pleased to give advice.