BT and partners propose secure long range radio for U.K.’s national smart meter rollout


Olivia Garfield,
Strategy Director,
London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — July 20, 2010 – Telecommunications giant BT has joined forces with communications infrastructure and media services company Arqiva and information intelligence company Detica to offer a dedicated and secure long range radio communications solution for the U.K. government’s proposed smart metering initiative.

Due to cover 28 million homes and small business properties by 2020 or sooner, the initiative is designed to reduce energy costs and lower Great Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2.6 million tonnes per year when the rollout is complete.

According to a statement BT is backing long range radio after spending 18 months analyzing the various communications options available to meet the needs of the smart metering initiative. Unlike mobile, it can provide truly nationwide coverage and dependable reception indoors, and also it operates on dedicated licensed spectrum.

The envisaged solution will create a dedicated network specifically for the smart metering program and use Arqiva’s radio spectrum and extensive radio infrastructure, with BT providing its expertise in delivering complex national IT and telecommunications projects and Detica providing robust information and infrastructure security services. The partners will be supported by Sensus, which would provide its FlexNetTM technology.

The U.K. government is expected to soon publish a prospectus that will provide details about the project and the possible commercial opportunities. The partners will review this document and will then formally launch their proposal in September. Their aim will be to offer a universal, dedicated, secure and resilient nationwide communications network to underpin the government’s plans for smart meters and subsequent smart grid applications.

“Smart meters will use telecommunications to deliver important environmental benefits and so BT is determined to be at the heart of the project,” said the group’s strategy director Olivia Garfield. “It is vital that any solution is designed for ubiquitous coverage of homes and is thoroughly secure and resilient. We believe that long range radio is the only technology to offer nationwide coverage and we will release more detail in a series of events in September.”