Cable&Wireless, CURRENT tap into UK smart grid opportunity

While the utility industry has been traditionally closed and proprietary, government smart grid mandates are driving them to work with outside parties, including service providers.  One duo happy to serve the utilities industry is Cable&Wireless Worldwide (LSE: CW.L), which has struck a partnership with CURRENT to create integrated smart metering solutions to help UK-based utility companies meet the government's Low Carbon Economy and National Smart Metering program.

Under the terms of the agreement, C&W Worldwide will combine its next-gen network with CURRENT's smart grid sensors, smart meter data collectors and analytic software. The two companies claim that the combination of their respective assets will give utility companies a solution they can use to not only improve the efficiency and reliability of the UK electric grid, but also reduce the environmental issues associated with electric usage.

This is not a rip/replace solution, however. Because it uses the "PRIME" metering standard, utilities will be able to leverage their existing electrical wires to communicate with smart meters via power line carrier communication technology.      

Amy Cooke, Strategic Business Development Director at C&W Worldwide, said that while it will use a various technologies for smart grid projects, adding CURRENT's powerline line carrier will enable it to offer "a robust answer for smart metering communications particularly in high density urban environments where there is a proliferation of flats or where smart meters are hard to reach with wireless technologies."

For more:
- see the release

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