Telefónica turns to IoT for smart meter communication


In a statement, Telefónica announced the development and launch of its upgraded WAN solution Smart Meter Connect and CommsHub device.

The telecoms company claims Smart Meter Connect provides improved availability and accessibility for smart meter gateways.

[quote] The WAN transmits meter data from connected smart gas, electricity and water meters directly via the power supply system even in places utilities’ network is unavailable.

Telefónica says the solution will positively help Germany utilities to acquire data from smart meters connected in basements.

The CommsHub will also allow smart meter communication with utilities via the Internet of Things (IoT).

Utilities can plug CommsHub into existing intelligent metering systems resulting in the Hub creating a direct connection to the mobile network for transmission of meter data to the utility.

Telefónica said the development comes after an “extensive survey has shown that a mere 75% of electricity and gas meters in the Federal Republic of Germany can be reached with even one of the existing mobile networks.”

Infrastructure maintenance

In addition, utilities can carry maintenance of infrastructure integrated with CommsHub via an internet browser.

The solution provides utilities with functionalities including an overview of the entire structure of their mesh networks on the website of their mesh admin system (MAS).

By so doing, utilities are able to visualize signal strengths of mesh networks as well as the status or alarms of the connected appliances in a simple manner.

Smart meter communication development

The launch of the Telefónica’s new technology follows company’s 2015 launch of an M2M solution for electricity and gas providers, which will saw SIM cards being inserted into smart meters.

Telefónica’s Smart Meter Connect improved smart meters communication as it allowed energy companies to read smart meters remotely through a mobile connection.

The development made Telefónica the first telecomms provider in Germany to apply radio technology RF mesh to smart meters, according to Timo von Lepel, director B2B, at Telefónica in Germany.

Mr Lepel said: “For our new product we have found a particularly clever solution of connecting even the most remote areas to the mobile internet.”