Estonia’s dominant electricity provider Elektrilevi has signed an eight-year contract with Swedish telecoms equipment vendor Ericsson for the latter to supply, deploy, systems integrate and run a smart-metering network.
The energy company is running a pilot project this year involving 5,700 smart meters, and plans to ramp this up to a further 630,000 smart meters between 2013 and 2016, after which Ericsson will provide maintenance for three years and Elektrilevi will have the option of extending the maintenance contract until 2025.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ericsson will supply and deploy services on the 2G/3G mobile internet and power-line communication technologies for management and data information, and also perform systems integration of the meter and data management operation support systems (OSS).
Mait Rahi, Manager of Smart Metering Programme Elektrilevi, said: “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.”
Estonia is one of many European 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.
Ericsson posted a SEK 1.2bn (€140mn) net profit for the second quarter of this year, down 63% from one year earlier but still placing it comfortably in the black.