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Telefonica starts deploying smart meter services in UK with CGI

Iain Morris
July 17, 2014
Spanish operator Telefonica has flagged plans to provide connectivity services for smart meters being deployed by energy companies on a limited scale in advance of the mass rollout expected to begin late next year.

The operator said it would provide connectivity for IT services player CGI (Montreal, Canada), which claims to be supporting seven of the eight energy firms in the country that have undertaken initial smart-meter rollouts.

CGI is to integrate Telefonica’s (Madrid) network with its smart data service, allowing it to offer energy company customers communications services from the operator.

CGI said this would increase the range of communications options available to customers, suggesting it is also collaborating with other connectivity providers.

According to CGI, UK energy companies have currently deployed around 600,000 meters across the country as part of a “foundation phase” preceding the mass rollout.

“We are providing our smart data service to seven UK energy suppliers and helping them to offer choice and the latest technologies to their consumers during the foundation phase,” said Tara McGeehan, the vice president of energy and utilities for CGI UK. “Telefonica UK joining us is a major positive for all those initial pilots and trials that are underway delivering increased choice and leading connectivity services.”

CGI was named the preferred bidder for the eight-year £75 million ($128.5 million) data service provider contract during the UK’s smart meter tender in August 2013, and said it also looked forwards to working with Telefonica to support the mass rollout of smart meters.

Telefonica won communications service provider contracts covering central and southern regions of the UK and worth £1.5 billion over a 15-year period.

“We have already been supporting utility firms with their smart metering initiatives in the UK, and we are delighted to now be a part of CGI’s smart data service which is one of the most widely adopted platforms by UK energy companies,” said David Taylor, managing director of M2M at Telefonica UK. “We look forward to being able to extend the range of services we offer to utilities using smart meters in Britain.”

A consortium comprising communications players Arqiva (Winchester, UK), BAE Systems Detica (London, UK) and BT Group (London, UK) won communications service provider contracts in the north of the UK and thought to be worth about £625 million over 15 years.
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