Electric and water utilities are changing the way they operate, investing in automation and wireless communications to make their distribution and management systems smarter. Sprint (NYSE: S) is playing a key role by providing the wireless infrastructure and collaborating with innovative companies that specialize in enhancing reliability, optimizing service delivery and improving efficiency. Sprint today announced agreements with Itron, Inc; Lanner Electronics, Inc.; Power Insight and Silver Spring Networks where these companies will offer Sprint wireless network connectivity in support of their automated products and services.
• Itron has enabled their Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solution for use on the Nationwide Sprint Network. This solution allows water, gas and electric utilities to wirelessly collect metering data from Itron meters and a wide variety of other manufacturers’ meters using Itron ERT® modules (100W / 100G), over the highly reliable and secure Sprint 3G network.
• Lanner Electronics is working with Sprint to certify its Substation Automation computing platform. The solution will give utilities the option of remotely managing substation assets without relying on costly private networks. Lanner provides real-time monitoring and edge computing and control of Substation Automation that is ruggedized and easily installed.
• Power Insight provides residential and lite commercial building automation platforms that give utilities and business owners the option of using public cellular without having to rely on local broadband and contend with private network firewall configurations. This gateway allows the automation, scheduling and control of sensors, large energy loads, HVAC and lighting that can be easily installed and result in immediate energy savings. The Power Insight software platform allows the end user to monitor and control their energy consumption. It also provides a rich API allowing easy customization of device automation.
• The Silver Spring Smart Energy Platform combines networking, software and services to enable utilities to build the smart grid. A standards-based system, from the customer's home or business to the back office, the Silver Spring solution supports multiple smart grid applications running over a unified network and leveraging common back-office software. Utilities from small to large benefit from a lower total cost of ownership and the flexibility to focus on advanced metering, distribution automation and demand-side management in any order and combination they need.
“With the rising demand for energy and natural resources, machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions give utilities and their customers a powerful emerging tool for managing demand and promoting sustainability,” said Wayne Ward, vice president-Emerging Solutions Group, Sprint. “These new agreements underscore our continued commitment to the utility industry. Sprint has a dedicated team to fast track bringing M2M solutions to market. To date, Sprint has certified hundreds of M2M solutions and has millions of devices running on its network today.”
Public and Private Networks
For some time now a debate has been raging over whether utilities should continue to invest in privately owned wireless networks or work with a public carrier for their smart grid communications needs. The industry is beginning to recognize the advantages of public wireless networks and how to incorporate them into their communications mix. Utilities are working with Sprint to better understand how they can utilize the latest network technology and benefit from Sprint’s Network Vision deployment. By working with Sprint, utilities reduce the risks of operating a private network, such as network obsolescence and stranded asset deployment. The Nationwide Sprint Network and Sprint 3G network use inherently secure CDMA technology. Sprint offers scalable and flexible network solutions for utilities and application developers in support of Advanced Meter Reading, Distribution Automation, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and Demand Response.
Sprint’s Sustainability Program
The announcement today aligns with Sprint’s larger sustainability efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, use renewable energy, create less waste, and sell greener mobile devices. Sprint Buyback gives Sprint customers an instant credit of up to $275 to return their old or unused mobile devices so that Sprint can responsibly reuse or recycle them. The program was recently named the best buyback program in the industry by Compass Intelligence.
Sprint’s industry-leading role in corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability continues to receive recognition. For the third year in a row, Sprint ranked highest among all U.S. telecom companies on Newsweek’s 2011 Rankings of America’s Greenest Companies at No. 3, up from No. 6 in 2010. Sprint was also ranked highest among the wireless carrier industry on the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America. The DJSI North America is based on a rigorous analysis of corporate, economic, environmental and social performance. The index tracks the performance of the top 20 percent of the 600 biggest North American companies in the Dow Jones Global Total Stock Market Index that lead the field in terms of sustainability.
To learn more about Sprint programs that protect the environment, go to www.sprint.com/responsibility or follow @SprintGreenNews on Twitter.
DistribuTECH 2012 will take an in-depth look at the fundamental principles and newest technologies shaping the utility industry. Sprint will have M2M communication experts on hand in booth #4534. The conference and exposition will take place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Jan. 24 to 26, 2012.
About the Sprint Emerging Solutions Group
With more than a dozen years of experience with M2M, Sprint has been at the forefront of this wireless industry revolution, teaming with and supporting a large and diverse portfolio of innovative companies to create smarter wireless solutions that change the way people work and live. In 2010 Sprint opened the Sprint M2M Collaboration Center in Burlingame, Calif., a hands-on, interactive lab where ideas knowledge and technology unite to produce wirelessly enabled M2M concepts and products. Last year Sprint also introduced the Sprint Command Center, a Web-based portal that allows businesses with Sprint wireless-connected products the ability to manage, activate and de-activate each device. To learn more, visit www.sprint.com/m2m.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 53 million customers at the end of 3Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index showed Sprint is the #1 most-improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the last three years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.