Mobile communications solution flexibility in AMR for water, gas and electric utilities


Sensus FlexNet EasyLink Mobile Communications is a new solution for utilities that, according to the company, will increase read rates and decrease drive time.

The portable, radio-based device easily acquires data from electric, gas and water meters. It is positioned as a simple, cost-effective way to simultaneously read SmartPoint modules and ERT radios. Whether utilities want to continue drive-by, automated reading solutions or have flexible migration paths to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), Easylink is a solution.

“With more than 60 million encoder receiver transmitters (ERTs) deployed for drive-by, automated meter reading (AMR), utilities have a choice: continue replacing the legacy assets to maintain the status quo or completely replace their entire system with AMI all at once,” said Sensus vice president of global electric marketing Greg Myers.

“EasyLink provides an effective alternative to upgrading ERT technology without stranding utility assets.”

The EasyLink solution is said to be fast, flexible and future-proof. Utilities can replace failed or aging ERTs with SmartPoints and continue to drive the same routes using the EasyLink solution to read both types of devices. The technology also enables utilities to easily migrate to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).

The one-box, portable technology consists of:

  • FlexNet EasyLink Reader: a portable, radio-based device to read multiple meters that is compatible with various meters and billing systems
  • FlexNet EasyLink Workbook Application: an on-screen map that allows users to view routes and status via real-time data
  • FlexNet EasyLink Workspace Application: a comprehensive software program that produces customized management reports and integrates with billing systems

The FlexNet communication network communicates via dedicated, FCC-licensed spectrum, ensuring secure and reliable data transmissions. The network supports the EasyLink applications so utilities can capture and analyze more data for optimal operational efficiency.

“EasyLink is a smart solution for utilities looking for greater performance,” said Sensus vice president of communications solutions marketing Randolph Wheatley. “With the higher transmission power of FlexNet, SmartPoints can be read at greater distances, leading to further efficiencies for smart utilities.”