Smart metering communication company Sensus confirmed this week that it has entered the Australian market through a partnership with communications infrastructure company BAI.
Sensus and BAI will offer a smart meter and communications solution using long range licensed radio that meets Australia's critical national infrastructure requirements, the companies said.
The pair are bidding for two network contracts within Australia, Garry Cox, vice president Strategic Accounts at Sensus, told Metering.com.
Commenting on the decision to establish a foothold in Australia, Cox said: "It's a strong market, as strong as Europe and Japan and lots of the Asian countries that we're working in at the moment. Utilities in Australia also have similar issues to others around the world, so it's a great opportunity for Sensus and BAI."
On the subject of technical challenges with connecting smart meters across Australia's terrain, Cox said the company's experience in Nevada in the US means that it is confident it can achieve 99.5% coverage in rural areas.
Smart meter communications
Mr Cox said BAI will bring local experience and assets such as towers for FlexNet deployment to the partnership while Sensus will deliver hardware, software and services.
Cox said the agreement is much the same model as Sensus formed for the UK smart meter rollout with Arqvia, where in 2013 the pair won a contract to deploy a communication network across the north of England and Scotland to connect 10.2 million homes.
US deal news
The news follows Sensus announcing this week a deal in the US with Oregon’s largest customer-owned utility Eugene Water & Electric Board selecting its metering communication technology for more than 154,000 water and electric customers.
Sensus will supply a long-range radio solution that includes FlexNet communication network and Software as a Service (SaaS) in an attempt by the municipal utility to improve customer service through leak detection and outage management.
The utility’s two-year upgrade will begin with remote monitoring, outage management, real-time consumption monitoring and leak detection.
During phase two, the Eugene Water & Electric Board will deploy prepaid metering.