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SP AusNet names smart meter suppliers

Victorian energy company SP AusNet announced yesterday that it had chosen Motorola to build a WiMax network to connect the smart meters it is rolling out to 680,000 customers.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

Victorian energy company SP AusNet has announced the partners, including Accenture, Logica, Motorola and Unwired, for its smart meter roll-out to 680,000 customers.

Motorola will be responsible for a WiMax communications network to connect the meters and the central system, allowing it to record electricity consumption measurements and remotely manage the customer meters.

Motorola said it had been awarded a four-year project in which it would supply 60 to 80 base stations operating at 2.3GHz as well as an access service network gateway and new microwave systems to extend the wide area network to new coverage areas. The company would start shipping products by the end of this year.

SP AusNet said it had done a deal with Unwired to use its 2.3GHz spectrum for the network.

GE together with Grid Net and Landis+Gyr will supply the thousands of WiMax enabled smart meters. Grid Net will work together with General Electric on the meter management system and eMeter is providing a meter data management system.

Logica has been signed on for systems integration of the metering systems, while Accenture will design and implement SP AusNet's new SAP Customer Information System.

SP AusNet is implementing the SAP system to help bring together metering processes with back-end systems according to SAP. The software provides consumers with insight into their energy consumption.

Enterprise Business Services has been chosen as another partner to manage the above mentioned IT projects.

UXC and Electrix will deploy meters and carry out preliminary site inspections.

Geomatic Technologies will provide products and services to implement the mobile system used for workforce management and meter install services.

A commercial arm of SP AusNet called Select Solutions will provide the overall management of the end-to-end meter exchange component for the program, including the management of all the field service providers and provisioning of the required systems, the energy provider said.

The full contingent of meters will be installed by 2013. The first phase will see 40,000 installed by June next year.

Also in Victoria, rival power companies CitiPower and Powercor will be rolling out smart meters. They signed contracts earlier this year with UXC and Bilfinger Berger for multiple services including the installation of communications technology systems.

Victoria's other electricity distributors Jemena and United Energy Distribution have also been actively preparing for their own smart meter roll-out. ZDNet.com.au believes Jemena awarded a contract to Accenture as system integrator in preparation for the roll out.

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