TALLINN - Elektrilevi, the major Estonian electricity distribution network operator, has signed an eight-year contract with Ericsson to supply, deploy, systems integrate and run a smart-metering network, reports LETA. Estonia is one of many countries that are installing smart meters to contribute to the EU target of improving energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020. Elektrilevi has nearly a half-million subscribers on its network.
Smart meters make it possible for consumers to control their energy consumption and reduce costs by supporting new tariff models from utility companies, and supporting more accurate and timely billing. Utilities benefit from increased operational knowledge, the elimination of manual meter reading and savings through fraud detection.
Ericsson will supply and deploy services on the 2G/3G mobile Internet and power-line communication technologies for management and data information, including deployment of 630,000 smart meters. Ericsson will also perform systems integration of the meter and data management operation support systems (OSS). Ericsson will operate the smart metering network during the deployment period.
Mait Rahi, manager of Smart Metering Program Elektrilevi, says: “Ericsson’s solution offers us cost savings and enhanced customer satisfaction. The change from manual meter reading to automated remote meter reading will ensure more timely and more accurate billing of customers for their actual energy consumption. And, we will get more precise information from the electricity network and can take faster action in case of power interruptions and fraud.”
Following a pilot project involving 5,700 smart meters this year, the rollout of the rest of the 630,000 smart meters will take place from 2013 to 2016. After that, Ericsson will provide maintenance for three years and Elektrilevi will have the option of extending the maintenance contract until 2025.
Paolo Colella, head of Consulting and Systems Integration at Ericsson, says: “This project allows Elektrilevi and Estonia to take a significant step in the development of the Networked Society, where people, business and society will benefit from devices that are connected in real-time. This advanced ICT solution will support business development for Elektrilevi, and the increased information and control of electricity usage will bring tremendous value to their customers.”