Swedish communication company Ericsson and Acea, the second-largest electricity distributor in Italy, have signed a ten-year managed service agreement to manage and develop Acea’s AMR system, which will be deployed to 1.5 million households in Rome. This is the first contract of its kind to be signed by Ericsson; the company believes that liberalization of energy markets and the introduction of new regulatory requirements are opening up an international market for the management of millions of power meters.

Acea customers will now have bills based on actual consumption, with the possibility of time-of-use tariffs being offered. Households will be linked via the electric power lines to concentrators, which in turn are linked via GPRS modules to the service centre managed by Ericsson.