T&D World Magazine

AT&T To Offer Wireless Smart Grid Technology To Utility Companies

AT&T has announced a new alternative for electric utility companies looking to provide the benefits of smart grid technology to the residential sector. AT&T and SmartSynch are providing utilities with a cost-effective system 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..

"Utilities throughout the U.S. face tremendous challenges to increase renewable energy sources and efficiency, as well as manage new applications, which place new complexities on an already complex system," said Chris Hill, vice president, mobility product management, AT&T Business Solutions. "To meet these changing demands in support of the recent economic stimulus bill, AT&T and SmartSynch are offering this new solution to help the industry migrate to smart grids."

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