O2 secures multi-million pound smart metering contract

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Operator will provide connectivity services to G4S and will be followed by more M2M deals in coming months

O2 has signed a multi-million, three year machine to machine (M2M) deal with smart meter operations service provider G4S Solutions.

The agreement will allow O2 to simplify the management and monitoring of  G4S’s national smart meter group and is O2’s first move in the smart metering space.

It will be followed by more announcements in the coming months as more utility providers roll out these services in UK households, the network says.

The government last year said that all UK households must be kitted out with smart meters by 2020.

O2 told Mobile News it has “hundreds of thousands” of M2M connections in the UK and that it is keen to grow its presence in this sector but with the “right partners at the right time”.

It said smart metering was a highly “emotive” area but the transportation and equipment and environmental monitoring sectors were other areas within M2M where O2 expects to see considerable growth.

Under the agreement with G4S, O2 will provide 200,000 SIM cards to connect smart meters across the county to G4S’s data centre which will use O2’s SMS gateway to relay information from it’s smart meters to the data centre and back again.

Outbound messaging allows G4S to monitor the working order of its smart meters remotely, reducing maintenance costs.

Further to these services, O2 will also provide G4S connectivity to run the annual testing of its disaster recovery process.

O2 business director Ben Dowd (pictured) 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.”

Growing space

Last month Everything Everywhere vice president of wholesale and M2M Marc Overton said his company was aiming to be the number one M2M provider in the UK.

Overton said Everything Everywhere is currently operating trials with an unnamed energy supplier and insisted a contracts would be signed within three to six months.

Overton also said E.ON, npower and Scottish Power will all tender for M2M contracts this year.

Vodafone partnered with British Gas for M2M services in May last year.

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