In Kuwait, the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) partnered with telecoms company Zain to implement a smart meters project.The ministry signed a deal with Zain for the deployment of a smart meters installation project in which the telecoms company will develop, manage and operate an advanced metering infrastructure over a period of seven years.
According to a local publication, the telecoms firm will collaborate with Ericson and E&Y in deploying the KD 22 million ($7.2 million) smart meters installation project.
Under the project, some 880,000 smart water and electric meters will be deployed to help utility firms improve their billing accuracy and for consumers to improve their efficiency through access to real-time usage data.
The system will help MEW improve management of its water and electricity distribution system through the provision of real-time notifications in the event of water leaks and power outages.
The first batch of the smart meters will be installed for the investment, industrial and agricultural sectors followed by residential consumers. However, the number of the smart meters to be deployed in future is expected to reach 1.2 million.
Under the announced smart meters installation project, Zain will install its own 5,000 smart meters meeting international standards. The telecoms will develop and manage an operating system for the smart meters as well as introduce an e-payment system on which customers can track their water and energy usage and pay their bills using mobile devices or via MEW's website.
With the e-payment system, consumers will be able to choose either to pay their water and electricity on pre-paid or post-paid. [Australian city partners with local telecoms in smart city pilot].
Eaman Al-Roudhan, CEO of Zain, said: "The implementation of a project of this scale is a testament to the country's efforts to catalyse the uptake of e-government services and embodies the public sector's interest in benefiting from the sector's experience in areas such as customer care. The project stands as a huge boost to Kuwait's public-private partnership program."
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