AT&T has unveiled a new alternative for electric utility companies looking to provide the benefits of smart grid technology to the residential sector using solutions from SmartSynch Inc.
AT&T and SmartSynch are for the first time providing utilities with a cost-effective solution by combining a new suite of service plans from AT&T designed specifically for machine to machine (M2M) communications with SmartSynch’s smart grid solutions already deployed at more than 100 utilities throughout North America.
With this new solution from AT&T and SmartSynch, electric utility companies will now be able to concentrate on efficient electricity delivery rather than being distracted by building, maintaining, expanding and upgrading a communications network. This new solution offers a cost-effective point-to-point configuration model in which each meter communicates directly with the utility over the AT&T wireless network.
Smart grids combine “smart meters,” wireless technology, sensors and software so customers and utilities can closely monitor energy use and cut back when the availability of electricity is stretched to its limit. The IP-based smart grid model ultimately helps consumers understand the economics of their consumption patterns so they can make intelligent decisions about their power consumption. The smart grid technology will also help to enhance reliability and energy efficiency, lower power-line losses and provide utilities with the ability to remotely automate service, providing cost-savings for consumers.
Stephen Johnston, CEO, SmartSynch, said, “The decision to work with AT&T on this initiative was clear, based on its network reliability and strong legacy in understanding the needs of business customers and servicing those needs. Together we are providing a cost-effective alternative to private networks, which is shifting the smart-metering landscape for the good of the entire utilities industry.”