In Europe, Austrian utility Netz Burgenland Strom has commissioned Landis+Gyr to supply and deploy smart electricity meters fitted with G3 power line communication technology.
Netz Burgenland Strom, which is one of seven major electricity distribution system operators in Austria, has ordered Landis+Gyr's smart metering platform Gridstream.
The agreement includes the supply of infrastructure for the utility's head-end-system, which enables the utility to remotely read all meters in its network.
Netz Burgenland Strom, which has more than 200,000 metering points in its network, awarded the contract following a pan-European tender.
Under the terms of the agreement, the first 3,000 E450 smart residential meters will be installed from November 2015.
The next roll-out step, comprising 20,000 further devices, is planned for 2016, with the remaining meter stock being replaced with smart meters by 2019.
Commenting on the choice of technology, Landis+Gyr's executive vice president, EMEA, Oliver Iltisberger said he thought the deal represented "an important first step in establishing G3 PLC in the market. According to our estimations, G3 PLC as the technology for smart meter communications will gain increasing importance in the market."
Austria prepares for 2020 rollout deadline
The contract is the latest in a series of smart meter orders following the Austrian Ministry for Economy, Family and Youth's decree in April 2012 that 95% of the country's meters must be advanced by 2019.
In February 2015, Telekom Austria announced a partnership with billing and utility software company Bsf IT-Solutions in a bid to deliver a turnkey smart metering system for 23 grid operators.
Telekom Austria, which began working on Austria's first smart metering rollout in 2013, works with a coalition of vendors to deliver on deployments.
Meanwhile in March 2015, the country's largest multi-energy provider EVN announced it is the newest member of the European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS).
EVN and ENCS will work together to establish a new set of smart meter security requirements to strengthen the company's security strategy and set a foundation for future utility deployments, said an ENCS statement.
In another development, late last month, Salzburg AG, a local multi-utility company for the city and state of Salzburg, has chosen Itron to expand upon its smart grid pilot project.
Itron will supply its Riva edge intelligence technology to enable adaptive communications technology and computing abilities for the utility's meters and other electric grid devices at the edge of the network.
Austria plans to install 5.41 million smart meters by 2020.