AT&T has entered into the smart grid market by offering up its network to utilities seeking two-way communication with their customers. The company is realising that the real market opportunity could come from providing services on top of the network to their utility customers.
They provide the cellular technology in devices for Cooper Power Systems and SmartSynch. But the companies who are interested in smart grids are interested in more than just embedded network connectivity. Some of the new services AT&T will have to offer, include roaming, time-of-use billing, tracking of mobile devices and plug-in hybrid electric.
The company is not interested in reselling electricity, it would sell meters direct to its utility customers if they request it. They are also open to acting as the prime contractor, or even a subcontractor to a big player like General Electric, to bring in partners and create an end-to-end solution for the utility.
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