Smart meters UK: Telefónica’s new role in national rollout


CGI, the IT consultancy supporting the UK smart meter rollout, has signed up Telefónica UK to offer energy companies additional communication services in the initial stages of meter deployment.

Under the terms of the agreement, Telefónica UK will join CGI’s Smart Data Service, that aims to deliver connectivity choice to seven of the eight energy companies that have started initial smart meter rollouts.

Commenting on the deal, Tara McGeehan, vice president energy & utilities at CGI UK, said: “Telefónica UK joining us is a major positive for all those initial pilots and trials that are underway delivering increased choice and leading connectivity services.”

Smart meters 2015

Telefónica UK, under the commercial brand of O2, was awarded two of the three regions for smart meter connectivity by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) under the mass roll-out of smart meters, which is expected to begin in December 2015.

The two contracts to deliver communications services for the central and southern regions have a combined value of around GB£1.5 billion over 15 years.

Under the deals Telefonica will provide the communications infrastructure to connect smart meters in the affected regions using its existing cellular network and complimented with mesh technology to provide connections in hard-to-reach areas.

This latest announcement means Telefónica UK will also be able to support the initial trials and pilot rollouts that are already underway or planned by the UK’s energy companies.

David Taylor, managing director of M2M at Telefónica UK, said, “We have already been supporting utility firms with their smart metering initiatives in the UK, and we are delighted to now be a part of CGI’s Smart Data Service which is one of the most widely adopted platforms by UK energy companies. We look forward to being able to extend the range of services we offer to utilities using smart meters in Britain.”

Spain’s smart meters

The Spanish telecommunication giant hopes to use its success in the UK smart metering rollout as leverage to gain contracts in Spain, ahead of the national deployment programme, as reported in in June 2014.

Telefónica is planning a roadshow to convince electricity companies that its smart meter offering being used in the UK national rollout is the right choice for Spain’s mandated meter replacements.

The Spanish government’s reform of the electricity sector will require the replacement of mechanical meters with up to 18 million smart meters.