Following the presentation of the Telekom Austria Group M2M domestic smart meter solution 'Österreich Zähler' last autumn, the company is taking a further crucial step in providing smart meter equipment in Austria. As of today, Telekom Austria Group M2M will offer Europe's first smart meter solution with LTE connectivity to its domestic customers.
Telekom Austria Group M2M experts have developed this new smart grid device jointly with its two partners Kaifa and ZTE, bringing it to market maturity. The new communication module supports both LTE/4G (2600MHz and 800MHz) and GPRS/2G (1800MHz and 900MHz) technologies. Based on its modular design, 'Österreich Zähler' provides a high degree of flexibility in terms of data communications and the modules are completely interchangeable and easily adjusted to the corresponding technology.
Investment Security Across the Board
The LTE technology is the latest mobile communication technology currently available and is based on state-of-the-art and globally established transmission and security standards. In addition to being future-proof, the LTE/4G technology also offers legal stability as the company has been granted corresponding long-term mobile licenses. At the end of 2013, Telekom Austria Group und A1 managed to secure themselves Austria's best frequency spectrum for the next decades.
Bernd Liebscher, Managing Director Telekom Austria Group M2M, said about the new 'Österreich Zähler': "Smart meters based on wireless technology do not need any additional infrastructure and are therefore the ideal solution for a targeted rollout across the country. With the LTE/4G communication module, we are able to increase the reach of smart meters, to include previously difficult locations. Combined with the company's high-security M2M communications services based on Austria's best network, 'Österreich Zähler' offers a flexible, cost-effective and future-proof solution for domestic power grid operators".
Available bandwidths within the 800 MHz range allow for optimal network coverage in rural areas and bring about considerable advantages in terms of building penetration. Especially in buildings, where meters are located in the basement, the ability to penetrate obstacles is imperative. High bandwidths and low latency also enable the deployment of LTE/4G smart meters for future smart grid applications such as the timely recording of quality parameters in power grids.
This solution also meets relevant sustainability requirements: lower smart meter energy consumption contributes to improving energy efficiency by up to 60% compared to conventional Ferraris meters. 'Österreich Zähler' is therefore the ideal solution as it fulfills both Austrian and European requirements
With the new LTE/4G smart meter, Telekom Austria Group M2M has optimally expanded its smart meter portfolio. All components are based on globally established mobile communications standards. Furthermore, this proven smart metering technology has been adjusted to the specific needs of the Austrian market. Close collaboration between experts from the telecommunications and energy industry guarantees the smooth interplay between hardware, firmware and the communications network, enabling secure and reliable data transmissions, while keeping smart meters' own energy consumption at a low level.
Last but not least, by using the currently existing network infrastructure, power grid operators bear no investment risks and profit from optimized operating costs.
About Smart Metering
Smart metering, the deployment of smart electric meters as a basis for efficient energy management is one of the numerous possible applications of the M2M technology. Smart meters do not only record energy consumption and production levels in a combined manner but also provide a wide array of additional information like for instance the measurement of consumption intervals. In 2011 and 2012, the legal framework for a countrywide smart grid rollout was put in place in Austria. As a result, 95% of all existing electric meters will have to be replaced by so-called smart meters by the end of 2019 with the ultimate goal of generating higher transparency and promoting energy savings. In light of the planned smart meter introduction, electricity providers are currently preparing for the challenges that lie ahead. The necessary investments in smart metering systems, data transmission, installation and operating services as well as in a central IT infrastructure have to be made in a future-proof and cost-effective manner with low risk and a rapid implementation time frame. As a dependable partner of the domestic energy supply companies, Telekom Austria Group M2M provides high-security transmission networks for data communication between the single smart meters as well as managing the introduction and round-the-clock operation of the necessary infrastructure. Telekom Austria Group M2M offers end-to-end smart metering solutions based a multi-vendor portfolio and a wide array of proven communication technologies (GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, LTE, Mesh Radio).