Motorola has announced that SP AusNet, an Australian energy delivery company, has chosen Motorola Home & Networks Mobility business’ mobile broadband technology to power WiMAX-based smart metering applications. Motorola will provide SP AusNet with a wireless end-to-end infrastructure for its smart metering program, which will help monitor and reduce electricity usage for more than 680,000 customers in Victoria.

Smart metering is a full measurement and collection system that includes customer meters, communication networks and data management systems. Motorola’s WiMAX application supports wireless communications between customers’ meters and the central system, enabling the system to record electricity consumption measurements and remotely manage customer meters.

Motorola will supply and deploy WiMAX WAP 650 base stations operating at 2.3GHz, Access Service Network (ASN) Gateway and new microwave systems to extend the wide area network (WAN) to new coverage areas. The system is based on a flat, all-IP architecture that enables high-speed machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. It will facilitate communication with SP AusNet’s smart meters embedded with WiMAX chipsets, collecting measurements and sending instructions in real time, supporting the analysis of usage patterns and power generation needs. This wireless network also will allow SP AusNet to facilitate smooth communications for its field operations. The project spans a four-year period, and Motorola will start shipping and installing products by the end of 2009.

“This is the first time WiMAX technology will be used in smart metering for an electrical utility company. The WiMAX technology supports high-speed data communications and hundreds of thousands of smart metering connections that are capable of covering large geographical areas, providing a solid foundation to build a reliable and cost-effective communications network for smart metering,” said Eric Starnes, VP of sales and operations for Motorola’s Home & Networks Mobility business in Asia, in a statement.

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