Ericsson was announced as the winner of the "Network and Communications Award 2012" at the recent "Smart Metering UK & Europe Summit 2012" conference in London. Ericsson won the award for their innovative solution for Smart Meter Communications which enables better use of the existing mobile networks by utilities.
"Utilities in Europe are busy introducing and extending communications capacity to collect the data from Smart Meters,” said Anders Bylund, Head of Utility Sales for Ericsson. "With the innovative use of existing mobile networks we are providing utilities with a new solution which complements their existing investments in private communications infrastructure."
Governments and regulators around the world are focused on reducing their countries carbon footprint and reliance on carbon based energy generation. An important tactic used to reduce power consumption and to aid the move to greener energy is the introduction of “smart meters” in homes and offices. Utilities thus need communications networks to collect the data from the smart meters.
Ericsson's innovation is to adapt for use by utilities the proven concept of a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), by which retail mobile companies today use the network of a wholesale mobile network operator. In this way utilities can use the resources and coverage of an existing mobile network, as an alternative or a complement to building a private wireless network. The operator’s network is also adapted to meet the demanding technical requirements of the utility.
The judges for the European Smart Metering Awards 2012 represented a broad range of industry experts from a range of companies around Europe including: Red Electrica de Espana, Hanze University, Vattenfall, TAHI, Consumer Focus, Northumbrian Water, Fortum, Enexis, Sibelga and United Utilities.
The award was judged on a range of criteria including how innovative the solution is, the security of the product, the reliability and longevity of the product, and how cost-effective the solution is.