German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom claims it will soon become the world’s first company to offer a modular solution for smart metering using so-called ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) technology.
The service will give utility companies a selection of tools for energy provision and management, and includes a gateway administration service, the installation of meters and gateways, the communications link, a meter data-management system and an IT system based on SAP (Walldorf, Germany), with which Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) has a long-standing partnership.
Customers can buy the various components of the service individually or in combination for a set monthly rate, according to the operator.
Deutsche Telekom is to showcase the service at next year’s E-world show – to be held in Essen in February – and says test installations will be provided as soon as the first smart meter gateway hardware components are available.
It is also keen to emphasise that its solution meets the requirements of the German Federal Office for Information Security.
The operator has recently been highlighting its security credentials after Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the US National Security Agency, revealed that US agencies have been eavesdropping on the online behavior of EU citizens, which have caused uproar in Germany.
It recently set up a new security unit within its T-Systems IT business, which is to pool IT expertise from across the Group.
“We offer a simple, cost-effective and secure modular system for the entire process chain, from the meter to the invoice,” said Frank Schmidt, the new head of Deutsche Telekom’s energy business area. “The kit is aimed not only at energy providers but also companies that use the kit to put together their own offers – such as the energy provider BS Energy in Braunschweig.”
“If we manage to implement smart metering on scalable IT platforms for a large number of energy providers, we will be able to roll out smart metering at attractive costs,” he added.
Deutsche Telekom has been ramping up its activities in the smart-metering market to compensate for a slowdown in its traditional business, and just recently flagged a deal with energy-management firm ista International (Essen, Germany) under which it will support remote meter-reading services for water, heating, gas and electricity services.
The company said it would make use of the experience it has gained from the 30,000 smart-metering systems it has installed in Germany, as well as its IT security expertise, in providing the service.