Telefónica and Ericsson demonstrate LTE smart meter optimisation

Telefónica Germany has partnered with Ericsson and E.ON Research Centre at RWTH Aachen University to demonstrate the use of LTE networks in smart meters for the energy sector.

The trials are said to have shown that LTE can provide a reliable and flexible communications link from the smart meter to utility IT systems. In addition, the latest energy tariffs can also be sent to the meter by the utility to encourage the use of energy from renewable energy on sunny or windy days.

According to Ericsson, the trials have also demonstrated that smart meter message transmission times to IT systems over base stations will remain within the expected 100 milliseconds, even when networks were heavily loaded.

"We see the trial results as confirmation that public LTE networks, such as Telefónica Germany’s, offer a reliable and cost effective communications option to utilities companies deploying smart meter,” said Sven Koltermann, head of energy sales in Telefónica Germany.

“Such mechanisms for the utilities and their grid stability should always be introduced in close cooperation with German regulatory bodies," he added. 

The trials were conducted using an Ericsson LTE base station deployed at the E.ON Research Centre at the university, and connected to Ericsson’s core network facilities at its Eurolab in Aachen. The real time digital simulator (RTDS) power network simulator of the E.ON Research Centre was used to generate messages according to the smart meter use case provided by Telefónica.

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