MeterSmart, an organisation specialising in energy data management for utilities, has announced what may be the utility industry's most innovative meter data collection service. The new offering allows utilities to collect accurate meter data across the globe, including rural and remote areas, via a deployed constellation of more than 25 orbiting satellites.

Satellite data communication for metering is more reliable in remote areas than cellular technologies, because it clears any interference caused by large natural or man-made obstructions. In addition it is accessible where rugged terrain prevents installing phone lines at a reasonable cost.

MeterSmart will apply its MDMA-certified procedures to read meter data via satellite daily, and provide the data to utilities' MV-90 systems or other common utility software platforms. It can then be compiled and analysed for purposes such as forecasting the next day's demand, load profiling, billing and settlements.

The two-way satellite service will be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2004. It will initially be offered using GE KV2 socket-based meters at the customer site, or MeterSmart non-socket meters. Other utility meter manufacturers can activate the service for their hardware by contacting MeterSmart at sales@metersmart.com.

www.metersmart.com