Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERICY) and Acea,
the second largest electricity distributor in Italy, have signed a 10 year managed service agreement to manage and develop Acea's system for Automatic Meter Reading (AMR). The system will be deployed in Rome to 1.5 million households.
Ericsson is entering a new market of the developing utility area and the contract is the first of its kind signed by Ericsson. This is a result of mobilizing business processes to protect revenues and reduce cost with mobile technology.
The liberalization of the utility market and the introduction of new regulatory requirements from governmental authorities have opened up a world wide market where millions of power meters need to be managed. Sweden and Italy are the first two countries to adapt to these regulations and other EU countries are likely to follow. Ericsson, with its key capabilities in managed services and mobile machine-to-machine communication, will address this market.
Massimiliano Salvi, President of Acea Distribuzione SpA says: "Ericsson is the best choice for Acea to have a strong and committed local and global partner with an excellent combination of competencies in managed services, mobile network and system integration assuring the solution evolution."
Urban Gillström, President of Ericsson Enterprise, says: "We are proud that we are chosen to manage this new and innovative solution, and that we, together with Acea, will develop it even further. We are now expanding into the very interesting utility market which we see as an important area.
"For Ericsson this agreement is a result of our focus on the enterprise segment, giving us the opportunity to further invest in the potential of this business area - both as end-to-end solution providers and managed services business partner for enterprises."
The benefits for utility companies deploying the Ericsson services are lower OPEX in customer management and network maintenance, as well as protected revenues by more accurate billing and early detection of "power fraud."
Acea customers will enjoy invoicing based on actual consumption levels, possibility to benefit from different tariffs with savings on bills and less and shorter power breaks due to the immediate notification to Acea network operations center of faults in the low voltage network.
Households will be linked via the electrical power lines to concentrators which in turn will be linked via GPRS modules to the service center managed by Ericsson, where data integration will be done to Acea's business systems for billing, network management and customer care.
Ericsson will manage Acea's AMR system, utilizing its large existing Italian services organization for delivery and operation of managed services for operators and enterprises.
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