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SP Ausnet picks Ericsson for 3G smart meter rollout

Will they be able to handle the tinfoil hat brigade?

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Ericsson has put up its hand and declared itself the winner of the contract to provide Australian electricity distributor SP Ausnet with 108,000 smart meters in the State of Victoria.

Victoria has mandated smart meters, arguing that they are more accurate than their predecessors and offer better information to cosnumers.

There's some community opposition to smart meters, with opponents arguing that they don't save consumers money, impose unwarranted installation charges and are a health risk thanks to their use of radio communications.

Into that maelstrom strides Ericsson, which proudly proclaims it has been selected by SP AusNet "to develop and implement a 3G network-enabled communications solution to support its electricity smart meter program."

SP AusNet's director of market services Simon Hastings said, in a canned statement, that 3G smart meters "... provides a cost-effective means for customers in low-density, regional areas".

Ericsson's talking up 3G meters as a fine idea because they need no additional infrastructure, leaving electricity distributors "to focus on delivering energy to homes and businesses by minimizing the task of managing a complex communications network." ®

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