Telekom Austria gears up for large-scale smart meter roll-out

Österreich Zähler GPRS technology enables a cost-optimised start for Austria’s countrywide smart metering roll-out based on existing infrastructure

Telekom Austria gears up for large-scale smart meter roll-out

Telekom Austria Group M2M has developed a smart metering solution for the Austrian market called 'Österreich Zähler', for which pre-orders can now be placed.  

Österreich Zähler uses the A1 full-coverage GPRS network as its underlying communications technology, which enables the immediate start of the countrywide roll-out in Austria.

GPRS meters do not require any additional infrastructure, making a nationwide roll-out possible, as well as the selective replacement of existing meters with smart meters.

Combined with the Group’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 electricity providers, according to the operator.

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, the company asserted.

For Austria’s first smart metering project in Ybbs an der Donau, Telekom Austria Group M2M joined forces with the regional supplier of electric energy E-Werk Wüster and focuses on a combination of GPRS and mesh-radio technology, provided by the Danish smart meter manufacturer Kamstrup. This combination is first choice for an area-wide roll-out.

The Österreich Zähler is an additional alternative for optimised use as standalone GPRS meter and thus guarantees secure sourcing for the Austrian energy industry. For Österreich Zähler, the company is relying on Kaifa’s longstanding experience. Kaifa has delivered a total of 22 million smart meters and is therefore the largest smart meter supplier in Europe.

“By collaborating with Kaifa and Kamstrup, two leading industry suppliers, Telekom Austria Group M2M is not only able to provide a future–proof solution based on a standardised mobile technology, but also a secured sourcing for GPRS meters,” said Bernd Liebscher, managing director at Telekom Austria Group M2M.

The move by Telekom Austria is designed to meet the smart meter roll out programme in Austria. 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.

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