Telco concepts for smart meter roll-out

Regulatory policy guidelines for the “Energiewende” (paradigm shift in energy production in Germany towards renewable energy sources using alternative technologies) and an increasing number of suppliers of renewable energies are the driving factors behind the need to make energy distribution networks smarter. At the lower network levels in particular, it is important to implement bidirectional, assured M2M communication with consumers and suppliers. The installation of smart meters and smart metering systems will become mandatory for certain users within the next few years. At the same time, from a market and technology point of view, it is necessary to manage smart meters in the future smart grid via real-time communication links.

Currently, all energy suppliers are faced with the difficult task of finding the appropriate technology mix and business model as well as providers for the implementation of these complex requirements.

The transformation of control and measurement tasks (including stringent safety standards) into appropriate specifications for telecommunication providers is a huge challenge in itself, not least because the requirements vary regionally and different smart grid elements have to be taken into consideration for each energy supplier.

On the basis of proven methods, LATUS Consulting has developed specifications for the dimensioning of networks and communication routes for renowned German utility companies.

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Besides purely technological requirements, there are other aspects that have to be considered when selecting appropriate technology and business model options. Commercially, the most favorable option might not be realized due to risk aspects. In addition to blackout prevention, these aspects include technology maturity, long-term delivery promises, stability of suppliers, and the effects of the need for access on the quality of the connections.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to implement the requirements and the associated secure connection of all necessary smart meter and smart grid elements with just one single technology. The consideration of suitable hybrid scenarios and their optimization in terms of costs is a complex and iterative process that will only produce a reliable result following comprehensive sensitivity analyses.

Tool-based costing methods allow LATUS Consulting to cost complex hybrid technology scenarios with the detailed requirements (use cases) of each energy supplier and to carry out the corresponding sensitivity calculations. The result? We deliver a basis for decision-making, including TCO details and risk assessment that takes our customers’ individual characteristics and requirements into consideration.

Our range of services includes:

  • Analysis of relevant use cases (FNN, others)
  • Allocation of use cases and their intensities to the termination points
  • Moderation of internal coordination of requirements
  • Development of telecommunications requirements profile and analysis of traffic volume per area
  • Design of suitable networks and topologies (including hybrid network models)
  • Tender management for public and private telecommunications services
  • Evaluation of technology maturity level
  • Evaluation of market framework and potential (e.g. for radio spectrum)
  • Development of operator models for potential private networks
  • Development of business plans, cost, and TCO calculations
  • Sensitivity analyses of various network and operator models
  • Risk assessments for technology scenarios and business models
  • Implementation support and project management for pilot testing
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