Swindon, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- June 24, 2010 - U.K. utility npower is to join a smart grid proof-of-concept network being set up by communications infrastructure and media services company Arqiva.

The network will utilize Arqiva’s long range radio communications solution for smart metering and will cover 80 km2 around the town of Reading, some 40 km west of London.

Arqiva will build the communications network and provide communications for smart meters to npower customers in the Reading area. Sensus, with which Arqiva has entered into an exclusive partnership for the U.K. smart meter rollout, will provide its FlexNetTM solution.

“Smart meters and smart grid networks have the potential to deliver huge benefits to both customers and suppliers, but only if we get the right devices into consumers’ homes and build the right platform to support communication between meters and providers,” said Dave Ford, head of smart metering development at npower. “Our partnership with Arqiva is vital as it will enable the industry to better understand the communications options that are available.”

The network is being supported with a £212,563 grant to Arqiva from the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change under its Smart Grid Capital Grants Program, and is expected to go live during July.
 
“This proof of concept with npower underscores the credentials of our proposition – that long range radio is the most secure, resilient and effective solution to meet the government target of providing smart meters to every home in the U.K. by 2020,” added David Green, program director for smart metering at Arqiva.