Competition is fierce in the utility industry. Consumers are feeling increased pressure to keep their energy consumption under control and, at the same time, demanding greater pricing transparency. Electricity, gas, water, and heat distribution companies around the globe can make business processes more efficient, productive and cost-effective by adding remote metering capabilities powered by Cinterion modules and M2M technology. M2M gives utilities the opportunity to enhance the range of "smart utility" services offered, increasing benefits to customers and gaining clear competitive advantage in the marketplace.
M2M technology can eliminate installment payments, and meters can be monitored whenever there is a need. Always on monitoring makes it easier to adapt prices to match seasonal variations in consumer consumption.
Consumption data available via M2M technology is up-to-moment accurate, which makes billing simpler and less confusing for consumers. Customers are invoiced faster and utilities are paid on a timelier schedule. M2M technology also enables utilities to quickly and easily suspend service to customers unwilling to pay their bills.
M2M technology is breaking new ground with services such as power-by-call. M2M enabled smart meters can transform a customer's power meter into a high-speed communications hub capable of accessing the Internet from home or work.
M2M enabled smart meters are continuously monitoring and remotely managing so the utility companies can react to meter manipulation or damage immediately, even in remote, hard-to-reach locations. Smart meters give consumers the ability to track consumption data via the Internet and change energy habits to save money and resources.
The latest Cinterion M2M technology has Java™ support, facilitates rapid data transmission with EDGE and HSDPA and comes with comprehensive engineering support to help OEMs innovate new products and bring them to market in a shorter period of time.
This interview with Gemalto's Thomas Weisshaupt, Pierre Girard and Laetitia Jay helps to frame both the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today.