British Telecom launches a bid to be included in the Smart Meter roll-out
The UK Government have set a target of rolling out smart meters – energy meters which will enable suppliers to take meter readings via a wireless network – to every home in the UK by 2020.
This is a plan that is estimated to cost over £7 billion, with almost 50 million smart meters being installed over the next decade in 28 million homes and small businesses.
IT and communications giant British Telecom have launched a bid to partner this project in conjunction with 2 other companies, Arqiva and Detica.
These three companies are hoping to provide the telecommunications that will link every smart meter together, via Arqiva’s radio network, which currently deals with TV and radio signals. Detica will then provide the security for the network and BT will manage the operation.
Are BT the right people for the job?
As you would expect from a bid estimated at over £7 billion, there is major competition to BT’s bid, namely from mobile companies Orange and Vodafone.
Energy suppliers are the ones responsible for the supply and installation of the smart meters, and there are already partnerships in place between Orange & Vodafone and some leading energy companies.
Vodafone is currently working with British Gas in installing two million smart meters by 2012, while Orange have teamed up with nPower and Scottish and Southern Energy.
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