Utility company Göteborg Energi AB has selected NURI Telecom to provide Zigbee-enabled electricity meters to every home in the Swedish city of Gothenburg.
The meters will then link themselves together to allow remote meter reading without infrastructure costs.
The self-forming mesh network won't actually be a single network, but will automatically route data to various kerb-side concentrators which then use GPRS, or cable technologies if available, to send the data back to the office.
Zigbee networks are self forming - each node can also act as a router - so no setup or configuration is required, and when a new house is built the additional node just connects itself to the network and starts reporting usage.
The Gothenburg deployment will be running at 2.4GHz, so competing with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in that space. But Ember, the firm making the chips for the deployment, said it expects a range of up to a kilometre, and points out that the bandwidth requirement for reading a meter is quite small.
The initial deployment, next year, will just include electricity, but there's an intention to add water and gas metering to the network, which should just be a matter of attaching battery-powered meters to the appropriate pipes and waiting for the data to roll in. ®