Swedish networks vendor Ericsson has signed up another customer to its smart-metering services in the form of Italgas, a natural gas distributor in Italy.
Under the deal, Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) is to build an advanced meter management and reading system and integrate this with existing systems for some 150,000 large and industrial customers of Italgas (Turin, Italy).
The system will be the first in Italy’s gas market, allowing Italgas to gather data from gas meters and transfer it to its own internal IT environment.
Using the service, Italgas will also be able to remotely monitor gas meters from a variety of vendors in real time.
Serving about six million customers, Italgas is investing resources in smart-grid technology in response to recent reforms in Italy’s gas distribution sector, aimed at encouraging better integration of resources, operational efficiency and technological innovation.
By overhauling its activities and rolling out remote-monitoring technology, Italgas expects to realize major benefits in terms of improving service quality and lowering costs.
“ICT is already transforming many industries such as the utility sector – enabling smart grids to deliver real-time information, giving companies greater control over their energy usage and saving money on their energy bills,” said Nunzio Mirtillo, the head of the Mediterranean region for Ericsson.
As Ericsson notes, the introduction of intelligent metering systems is being promoted throughout the European Union through various legislative rulings.
In Italy, regulators have decreed that 60% of residential gas meters and 100% of industrial gas meters must be “telecontrolled” by the end of 2018.