UK’s government has announced contracts worth £4.6bn ($7.4bn) to build a new wide-area network across the UK to support smart metering, in compliance with European Union (EU) rules for smart meters to be used across the UK by 2020.
The government-funded wireless network is likely to be based on GSM/GPRS due to the low cost of the wireless components and the level of understanding of the mature technology standard.
But the use of cellular technology is unusual in Europe, said David Leeds, senior manager of smart grid for GTM Research.
“It’ll be interesting to see how cellular takes root, seeing that the UK is the first proponent of it, while other European countries have adopted the prime PLC standard,” he said.
The contract document warns possible bidders that the network will need to provide 100 per cent coverage of the UK population, and supply the communications back to the central data and communications company that will oversee access to the data.
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