AT&T and Elster To Offer Wireless Smart Grid Solutions to Utilities
This month sees the third of one of America’s major telecom operators partnering with a Smart Grid solutions provider to offer their communication infrastructure to the Smart Grid Sector. First it was Sprint and GridNet, then Verizon and SmartSynch and now it’s AT&T* and Elster who have announced a similar partnership. Under the agreement between AT&T and Elster utilities will be able to communicate with Elster's EnergyAxis advanced metering systems via AT&T's high speed cellular data network.
The Smart Grid market as seen a change in approach or thought recently; instead of utility companies creating their own network for the transportation of energy usage data from consumers, they are partnering with telecom providers who already have an established network. Also, Smart Grid appliance manufacturers are getting in early to offer a complete end-to-end solution to the utilities. Now, utilities can chose who they want to work with based on their backend system’s ability to integrate with the telecom and appliance provider systems.
According to Elster they already have an establish relationship with utilities and "With this new agreement with AT&T, Elster is expanding the industry's most comprehensive suite of Smart Grid solutions to meet the specific needs of our customers," said Mark Munday, CEO of Elster Solutions. Mark also believes that with EnergyAxis ability to seamlessly integrate into an existing IT infrastructure or geography, Elster will be able to offer operational efficiencies to utilities.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.