meter data management
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Saudi Arabia invests in satellite tech for AMRIn the Middle East, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has chosen European developer of satellite communication equipment Newtec to enable connectivity to remote sub-stations in the energy distribution network in the Kingdom, through its through two-way satellite.

The Saudi utility will use Newtec’s very small aperture terminal (VSAT) platform to provide automatic meter reading (AMR), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), as well as voice and video satellite connectivity between remote sub-stations to enable new applications.

Newtec said in a statement that its VSAT network “provides control and data acquisition of the sub-stations, as well as enabling VoIP access and live feeds of video and images back to SEC/ National Grid Saudi Arabia’s (NG SA) network operations centre.”

Satellite technology rollout

The rollout will begin with the deployment of Newtec VSAT terminals at sites in the east region of Saudi Arabia. A Newtec Dialog HUB6504 Hub Module will be located in Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The Newtec Dialog HUB6504 has the capabilities to provide any network configuration, from single to multiple service areas, one or more satellites, different frequency bands, multiple transponders and High Throughput Satellites (HTS).

Newtec’s CEO Serge Van-Herck said: “We are pleased that Newtec Dialog is able to meet the requirements of SEC/NG SA so efficiently. The platform will allow them to build their network as their business continues to grow and we look forward to a continued partnership with both SEC/NG SA and BTC.”

Newtec and BTC engineers will also provide training and onsite support to SEC.

Commenting on the project, Abdul Aziz Al Sultan, telecom engineering and substation automation department manager at SEC/NG SA, said: “To develop the energy network into a full smart grid we face the challenge of a large number of sites, which are difficult to connect due to the limited terrestrial infrastructure in this area.

"We require a robust solution for time-critical applications. With Newtec Dialog, we are confident that we have found a reliable and flexible platform that can be deployed quickly and cost-effectively integrated into our network.”