A tender by Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) has the Economic Times of India reporting that a number of Indian and international vendors are "eyeing government’s purchase of 50 lakh (5 million) smart meters, which will give them access to big data on power consumption and create a market for 50 lakhAcc SIM cards for connecting the devices".
According to the report, some forty companies, including equipment makers and trade bodies, have held discussions with EESL which has tendered for the 5 million meters in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana as part of an overall smart grid project.
Some 4 million meters will be installed at Uttar Pradesh and 1 million at Haryana.
EESL are looking for GPRS meters and, says EESL managing director Saurabh Kumar: "Ultimately, [the] biggest gainers will be these data networks. 50 lakh data points will be connected (in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh), which they are getting paid every month. For them, this is big business. They would very much like to make sure signals are okay."
Kumar continued that: "a SIM-card based model will help bring down the capital cost for EESL. So, my overall cost of procurement will go down. If I take any other source, then there is a capital cost, which gets added to the cost of meter."
The communication protocol for the meters have been set and according to EESL the company has to protect their "commercial interest" by ensuring a cost-effective operating model.
"Why should I build a communication network, when I have access to a network already?" Kumar said.
The first bidding process is expected to take place next week.