O2 enters smart metering market

Telefónica O2 UK has announced that it has signed a multi-million pound contract with G4S Utility Services (G4S), an international security solutions group and one of the UK’s major smart meter operations service providers, to simplify the remote management and monitoring of the company’s national smart meter network.

The new partnership marks Telefónica O2 UK’s first move into the smart metering market, which is set for huge growth as utility providers roll out smart meters in households to meet the government’s 2020 deadline.

In a multi-million pound deal over three years, Telefónica O2 UK will provide M2M technology, including around 200,000 SIM cards, to connect smart meters across the UK to G4S’ data centre.

G4S will use Telefónica O2 UK’s SMS gateway to securely relay information from its smart meters to its data centre and back again. Outbound messaging will allow G4S to monitor the working order of its smart meters remotely, reducing the cost of maintenance and servicing as well as carbon emissions associated with travel. The deal will also see Telefónica O2 UK providing G4S with the connectivity to run the annual testing of its disaster recovery process.

Additionally, Telefonica O2 UK has delivered technology to enable G4S to transfer data securely, efficiently and privately between smart meters in the field and the G4S data centres.

Ben Dowd, business director, Telefónica O2 UK, said: “We believe there are real opportunities to use our network to accelerate the roll out of smart meters by helping utilities companies and other suppliers to deploy and manage the devices in a quicker and more cost effective way. We’re delighted to announce the substantial deal with G4S, and are confident this partnership will create further new revenue opportunities for both parties.”

The deal follows hot on the heels of an announcement by G4S that it has signed a three year contract with British Gas Business to deliver end-to-end smart gas and electricity metering services in Wales, the Midlands and the South of England.

Kim Challis, managing director of G4S Utility Services, added: “The provision of O2’s SMS gateway technology will greatly enhance the remote monitoring of our Smart metering provision, providing a more efficient cost effective service to our customers. We are looking forward to rolling out this technology during our smart metering installation phase.”

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