O2 / Telefónica

O2 UK, owned by the Spanish multinational Telefónica, is a telecommunications services provider in the United Kingdom. With over 26 million subscribers, O2 is the second-largest UK mobile network operator after EE, followed by Vodafone and Three.

O2 Telefoníca

Smart Metering Implementation Programme

in September 2013, O2 entered into two agreements to deliver communications services for the Central and South regions as part of the Smart Meter Implementation Programme of Great Britain (SMIP). The two agreements have a combined value of approximately £1.5 billion.

The SMIP is the world’s most ambitious smart meter deployment to date and will involve the roll out of approximately 53m gas and electricity meters across Great Britain by 1 January 2021.

As part of the 15 year agreements, O2 / Telefónica will provide the communications infrastructure to connect smart meters in the Central and Southern regions of Great Britain. The technology solution selected by Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is primarily based on Telefónica existing cellular network and complimented with mesh technology to provide connections in hard to reach areas.

Drivers to change

By providing greater visibility of energy consumption, smart meters will help consumers and small businesses to reduce usage, thereby helping to reduce their Co2 impact.

Smart meters also have the potential to be a foundation for smarter homes with other value added services, such as home automation, able to connect through the infrastructure.

Finally, they will drive innovation in the energy industry through enabling more tailored tariffs and through the development of smart grids.

Intended benefits

The £11 billion programme is expected to deliver a net benefit to the UK of £6.7 billion while a smart meter enabled industry could save 2 billion tonnes of Co2 per year in 2020.

The combination of cellular and mesh represents the ideal communications technology for smart meter deployments. Cellular is a proven, open, standards-based technology that is ready to support the needs of smart meters without needing additional infrastructure. Mesh compliments cellular, providing coverage in more remote areas and in hard to reach spaces. Telefónica has successfully tested both technologies in relation to smart meters and currently connects over 400,000 smart meters in Great Britain.


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