Australian energy distribution company SP AusNet has selected Ericsson to develop and implement a 3G network-enabled communications solution to support its electricity smart meter program. Ericsson says the standards-based approach allows this solution to be replicated on 3G networks globally.
SP AusNet will extend its existing smart meter footprint with an Ericsson solution that uses public 3G mobile networks and will reach a further 108,000 meters in outer urban and rural areas.
The Ausgrid electricity network provides power to 1.6 million homes and businesses throughout Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast areas of New South Wales. That network is made up of more than 200 large electricity substations, 500,000 power poles, 30,000 small distribution substations and almost 50,000km of aerial and underground electricity cables.
Ausgrid is installing up to 12,000 monitoring devices throughout its electricity distribution network. The data will allow Ausgrid to reduce outages through faster fault location and preventive maintenance. The smart sensors will give Ausgrid an instant picture of the medium voltage electricity network and how it is performing.
Ericsson’s LTE network will allow two-way communication with up to 2 million devices on the electricity grid.
The state-government owned corporation delivers energy to more users than any other distributor in Australia and is also managing Australia’s largest infrastructure programs – an AUD 8 billion upgrade of the electricity network.
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