First smart meter reading over white space demonstrated in U.K.


Cambridge, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — April 26, 2012 – The first smart meter reading over ‘white space’ was yesterday demonstrated in the U.K. by smart energy solution provider Bglobal and technology provider Neul.

The smart meter reading was carried out over a distance of 1 km using the previously unused ‘white space’ – the spare frequency of television channels that is no longer utilized following the switch over from analog to digital TV.

Neul has deployed what it believes to be the world’s first city-wide, fully functional wireless network in white space in Cambridge.

“The use of ‘white space’ to collect meter readings could potentially revolutionize the nationwide rollout of smart metering, as it breaks down one of the key barriers – that of communicating with meters in rural areas or other areas poorly served by cellular or wired broadband connections,” commented Aaron Forshaw, solution architect for Bglobal. “The trial has shown that ‘white space’ can have a highly significant role to play in any smart meter program.”

Neul’s network builds upon the successful completion of the first phase of the Cambridge White Space Consortium’s network. The Consortium’s phase one network used Neul’s equipment and cloud interface, together with the Weightless communications standard, to prove that its white space network co-exists perfectly with televisions and wireless microphones without causing interference or disruption. The network will now build upon that foundation for commercial trials later this year with full rollout anticipated in 2013.

The Weightless standard is a proposed open wireless technology for white space data exchange that can be embedded in electricity and gas meters as well as other devices such as air quality sensors, recycling points, street lighting, parking spaces, traffic lights, etc.

As such and in addition to the smart grid, the network opens up several possibilities for the smart city of the future, enabling smarter transport and traffic management, city lighting and other municipal services.