AT&T Offers Smart Meters with Pre-Paid Data Plans to Utilities
AT&T is offering SmartSynch’s suite of smart grid products along with AT&T wireless data services on a single bill for utility companies.
AT&T’s smart grid offer includes:
- Wireless Connectivity, for two-way smart grid data communication between electric meters or routers and a utility’s office;
- SmartSynch SmartMeter, which monitors power usage and wirelessly communicates day-to-day energy data as well as outage information back to the utility company;
- SmartSynch GridRouter, which acts as a hub for smart grid data, allowing utilities to connect with any device over any network;
- Software that gives utilities the ability to automatically monitor millions of electric meters on a single tool.
AT&T and SmartSynch first announced their collaborative efforts on smart grid technology in March 2009. The two companies have successfully updated metering systems for a number of utility customers over the last few years. Building upon this relationship, SmartSynch has now licensed AT&T to sell its metering hardware and software directly to energy providers.
Utility companies that buy their smart meters directly from AT&T can pre-pay up to ten years of machine-to-machine (M2M) data usage on those meters.
Through the combination of smart meters, wireless technology, sensors and software, utilities can closely track power grids and cut back on energy use when the availability of electricity is stretched to its limit. Consumers can also gain insight into their power consumption and, as a result, make more intelligent decisions about how they use energy.