London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- September 2, 2011 - The British government has issued contract notices for the provision of communications and data services for its smart metering implementation program, with a combined potential value of more than £4.8 billion.

The communications services sought comprise wide area network and other services to connect smart meters in the approximately 30 million households and businesses across Britain. The communications services will be split into three geographically based lots – northern Britain including Scotland, central Britain including Wales, and southern Britain. Bidders may bid for one or more of the lots, with each having a value between £330 million and £1.525 billion over a period of 20 years.

Each of the lots will include:

  • Provision of communications services for up to 100 percent of smart meters in the specified geographic area
  • Supply (but not installation) of the communications module that will allow the smart meter to connect to the communications service
  • Connection of the communications service to one or more data center locations
  • Possible take on of responsibility for communications services to compliant smart meters already installed within the specified geographic area.

The data services sought are to cover the management of the information from all the smart meters in the 30 million households and businesses. The packages include:

  • Systems integration and implementation, including development of the required software solutions
  • IT hosting on a managed service basis
  • Application management services, including ongoing support and maintenance of the software solutions/applications.

The contract has a value between £60 million and £240 million over a maximum 10 years.

Communication of data to and from smart meters in Britain’s domestic sector is to be managed centrally by a new, yet to be established central data and communications company (DCC).