US utility Alabama Power Company is working with Advanced Metering Data Systems, a metering and wireless connectivity company, on a 500 meter trial. The patented (and patent pending) technology employed in the AMDS network architecture allows a meter end-point to communicate directly with tower-mounted AMDS base stations that are 5 to 10 miles away. This means that hundreds or even thousands of complex, intermediate tier pole-top and/or roof-top mounted data collectors can be eliminated.

The Birmingham-area network installation required only three towers outfitted with AMDS base stations, which provide over 200 square miles of coverage in a terrain marked by hills and valleys. The system is providing synchronised hourly read interval data and demand reads, and the utility reports that integration to its billing system was flawless.

Earlier this year, AMDS licensed Sensus Metering Systems to manufacture an under-the-glass AMDS meter module for the Sensus iCon meter, which is now in full production. /