Authorities in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) should not force utility companies to roll out smart meters, according to a task force commissioned by the NSW government.
The recommendation could rule out any likelihood that NSW will copy the state of Victoria, which has made the deployment of smart meters mandatory.
The NSW Smart Grid Task Force was critical of the Victoria scheme and said that a similar government-driven rollout would lead to higher costs for the state and its consumers.
Jasper Wireless retains its number-one spot in ABI Research’s latest ranking of Connected Device Platform (CDP) vendors, but Ericsson is starting to make its presence felt in the fast-growing sector.
The company, which was singled out as a “clear leader” in ABI’s July assessment, continues to beat off rivals, with its global footprint, dominant market share and vertical-specific expertise fundamental to its securing top position this time round.
The deployment of smart meters will spur a doubling of global revenues over the next five years in the electricity utility billing and customer information systems (CIS) software and services market, according to new data from Pike Research.
Revenues are forecast to rise from $2.3 billion in 2011 to about $4 billion in 2017, says the market-research company.
The growth will happen as utility companies begin to change the way they view and manage customer relationships in order to realize the full benefits of their smart-grid investments.
Pan-African mobile-phone operator Vodacom has reportedly launched an M2M service in Nigeria aimed at boosting the country’s retail and financial sectors.
The offering appears to be a mobile-payments service, using GSM network connectivity to link retailers’ terminals to central servers and banking systems.
According to press reports, Vodacom (Bloemfontein, South Africa), majority owned by Vodafone (Newbury, UK), is using a secondary GSM network as a backup in case of an outage, but says users will be oblivious to any changeover.
Fleet-management specialist Blue Sky Network has teamed up with Southeast Aerospace to equip civilian and military aircraft with satellite-based tracking technology.
The partnership, say the companies, will create a one-stop shop for advanced satellite tracking, professional installation and certification for aerospace applications.
Blue Sky Network (La Jolla, USA) says the incorporation of its fleet management technology into Southeast Aerospace installations will facilitate easy access to the technology and certification in aviation applications.
Having flourished in the past year, the home-automation sector is forecast to ship 8 million systems in the US in 2017, up from just 1.5 million in 2012, according to a new study from ABI Research.
The market-research company expects shipments to grow at a compound annual rate of 45.2% between 2011 and 2017, thanks largely to the activities of new entrants.
Despite the ailing economy and weak housing market, shipments of home-automation systems in the US have doubled in 2012 over last year’s levels.
The UK’s Three has become the latest operator to partner with Ericsson on M2M services, launching a cloud-based M2M platform aimed at MVNO customers.
The operator, which runs the UK’s smallest phone network in terms of customer numbers, claims the new Ericsson-based platform allows MVNOs to set up their M2M services much faster and at lower expense than via competing services.
MVNOs targeting M2M devices will be able to go live on the network within just two weeks of signing up, according to Three (Maidenhead, UK).
Smart-grid specialist Itron has appointed Philip Mezey as its new chief executive while it continues its push into Asian energy markets.
Mezey will take over on January 1 2013 from LeRoy Nosbaum, who is set to retire at the end of the year.
Mezey was previously the president and chief operating officer of Itron’s global energy segment, with responsibility for electricity and gas businesses around the world, and served Itron in a number of roles before that.
Shipments of satellite-based communications nodes used for smart-grid applications are forecast to more than quadruple between now and 2020, according to a new study from Pike Research.
The market-research company expects node shipments to rise from about 11,500 in 2012 to nearly 48,000 by 2020.
Satellite communications are becoming an increasingly viable option for smart-grid applications involving substation automation, remote monitoring and the mobile workforce.
Asian energy supplier Meralco and Orga Systems have teamed up on a smart-grid pilot in the Philippines they claim is the country’s first experience of the technology.
The companies say that 40,000 customers will be connected to the smart grid during the initial pilot scheme, which will make use of Orga’s OS.Energy billing system.