A collaboration has been agreed between ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute) and the European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG), that is expected to accelerate the deployment of “smart meters” in Europe The move is expected to bring many benefits to utilities and their customers, including greater accuracy, reduced costs, improved consumer choice and ecological benefits through better management of natural resources.
The metering market is currently undergoing considerable change and, as smarter metering systems become available, they are being viewed as the future for utility metering, the term smart meaning “intelligent” and “connected” Smart Metering entails the exchange of various types of data between different entities and this implies communication channels of various forms. ETSI’s expertise in specifying interoperable telecommunication and radiocommunication technologies and systems, coupled with ESMIG’s commitment supporting and contributing to a pan-European deployment of Smart Metering, promises a harmonised, costeffective and fully interoperable roll-out of this new approach to utility metering.
The commitment of the two organisations is backed by a European Commission standardisation mandate (Mandate M/441) related to the development of an open system architecture for utility meters involving communication protocols.
Various technological solutions are foreseen Smart Metering: they include technologies that are the subject of established and evolving work within ETSI, such as wireless short-range communications, power line communications (i.e. the transport of data over electricity supply networks), mobile communications and communications on wireless sensors networks. ETSI’s vast experience in specifying communication protocols for many different types of network, serving diverse types of data and security criteria, is also highly relevant to this initiative. In addition, ETSI brings considerable expertise in specifying and assuring interoperability between systems – an essential requirement for the vast foreseen deployment of Smart Metering. ETSI will also draw on its role in defining radio spectrum requirements for new communication applications within Europe, since a need for more spectrum for shortrange radio devices to support metering has already been identified.
The Memorandum of Understanding between ETSI and ESMIG foresees the exchange of information, including working documents and specifications, between the organisations, joint meetings, conference and workshops, with the ultimate goal of supporting an effective pan- European deployment of smart meters as well as the legislative framework for it.