News | 23.02.2023

Smart meter connectivity - but the right way!

Smart meter connectivity in Switzerland is in full swing and should definitely be understood as part of a multiservice offering. 

Smart meters are a hot topic for energy service providers right now. By the end of 2027, 80% of analog energy meters in Swiss households must be replaced by so-called smart meters. However, there are various technologies for connecting smart meters, such as power line communication (PLC), broadband PLC, mobile, RF mesh or fiber PON/P2P. 

In our discussions with over 40 energy suppliers, we found that due to time and cost pressures, as well as an isolated focus on the smart meter roll-out, energy service providers tend not to choose the best long-term connectivity technology in terms of a multiservice platform. As a result, transitional technologies are used for individual applications such as smart meters. 

Moving away from siloed solutions to open platforms 

For a successful strategic positioning, the multiservice offering should ideally be based on a fiber-based, open connectivity platform. This is the only way for energy suppliers to expand their service offering cost-effectively and easily and to offer their customers applications in the areas of smart homes and smart buildings in the future, for example.  

The cost of a multiservice platform may seem high compared to traditional connectivity technologies such as PLC or wireless, but it pays off when you think beyond an isolated view of the smart meter application. In addition, real-time data is available to energy service providers, enabling the metering and control of intelligent networks - so-called smart grids. 

But what does that mean in concrete terms?  

Our connectivity and automation platform for an encrypted multi-service offering for smart meter connectivity, control, multi-fluid and new smart home and building offerings, focuses on smart device connectivity. It is based on PON connectivity technology and the NMS Prime service platform for provisioning and monitoring. NMS Prime can be easily and cost-effectively connected to the relevant surrounding systems via a standardized API. In addition, there is no need to develop a connection to the HES, as connectivity is provided over the Internet. The platform is also open for all smart meters and data concentrators that have an Ethernet/PON communication module.
In short: 

  • Secure, encrypted connection via PON technology 
  • Automatic activation and monitoring of connectivity of smart meters and other devices via NMS Prime Service platform 

Need more reasons why a multi-service platform is worthwhile? 

We are convinced of PON because: 

  • Standard technology with high compatibility rate 
  • Less expensive than P2P, as the operating costs are lower 
  • Meets the increased bandwidth requirements of the future 
  • Meets the lower space requirement in the PoP  
  • Smaller energy demand 

And that's why we rely on NMS Prime for provisioning and monitoring: 

  • Core Module OpenSource
  • Modular, standards-based and open platform 
  • Technology agnostic  

The BN added value 

Thanks to our experience, we support energy service providers holistically with needs-based professional services, support, maintenance through to operation. Our services include:  

  • Collection of basic information and needs assessment 
  • The definition of processes / workflows 
  • Analysis of the surrounding systems and their task (Dreamfiber, IS-E, etc.) 
  • Interfaces to peripheral systems  
  • Necessary technical resources 
  • Best practices from BN projects 
  • Conception, PoC, Implementation 
  • Operations or Support & Maintenance 
  • Trainings