Leading telecom players Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and BSNL are being roped in for providing connectivity as part of the government tender for 5 million smart meters to be deployed across Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, two people familiar with the development said. Interestingly, Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Jio is out of the picture.
“The technology being used for the smart meters is very rudimentary,” said an industry source aware of the developments. “Naturally, if the meter itself does not support 4G, Jio will not be approached,” the person said.
A smart meter is a new kind of electricity meter that can automatically send meter readings to the power supplier for billing and help consumers better understand their energy usage.
The smart meters tender floated by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is divided into two parts — meter procurement and system integration.
System integrators will take care of meter installation, data storage on Cloud, and preparing dashboards, among other things. They had the choice to rope in telecom operators to provide data connectivity and charge for the service in return.
“The system integrators are bringing in Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and BSNL for providing connectivity as part of the smart meters tender,” the second source told ET. The system integrators bid is presently through the technical stage, and companies like Larsen &Toubro (L&T), Keonics, China-based IESLAB have evinced interest in the same, the person said.
ET had reported on September 18 that leading Indian and international players including Vodafone, L&T and France’s EDF were interested in the government’s smart meters tender. EESL is looking at a GPRS-based model for smart meters, which is basically placing a SIM card in the meter for communication.
“Ultimately, the biggest gainers will be these data networks,” EESL managing director Saurabh Kumar had told ET in September. “50 lakh data points will be connected (in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh), which they are getting paid every month. So for them this is big business. They would very much like to make sure that the signals are okay,” he had said. Read More
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