UK Smart Meter £12.1bn Rollout

Rival groups are getting ready to submit their final bids for the UK's massive, multi-billion-dollar smart meter rollout. The so-called SmartReach group is built upon communications technology from Sensus.  A rival group is building on top of Silver Spring Network's RF mesh communications technology. Other groups are expected to bid as well.

Britain plans to install 53 million smart meters by 2019 to help homes and businesses monitor and curb their energy use. The units, which replace traditional power and gas meters, display how much energy is being consumed and at what cost. They relay data back to the suppliers, avoiding the need for meter readings while helping energy companies to smooth peaks in demand.

According to a Bloomberg report, several groups are poised to submit final bids on the 12.1 billion-pound U.K. program. Bloomberg says the SmartReach group, which includes BT, BAE Systems Detica, Arqiva and Sensus, is vying with a proposal from Vodafone and Silver Spring Networks to build the communications systems. There are also bids from Airwave Solutions and Telefonica SA.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is expected to announce the winning bid in July.

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