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Homes and businesses across the UK are already benefitting from the latest smart metering solutions, and the network is growing rapidly.
With big rewards to reap for both consumers and providers - including real-time energy consumption data, accurate bills and proactive maintenance - it's not difficult to see why so many have embraced this revolutionary new approach to gas, water and electricity provision.
Underpinning Arqiva's own smart metering offering is FlexNet - an innovative technology we provide in partnership with Sensus, a Xylem brand.
What is FlexNet
To deliver the benefits above, smart meters must be able to send and receive data effectively, and this requires a robust communications network. FlexNet meets that need perfectly.
It is a highly-reliable data communications and processing platform which has been specifically optimised for smart metering and smart grid applications. It uses licensed radio spectrum to facilitate the rapid and secure movement of information to and from smart metering equipment.
The data carried could be anything from meter readings to error codes and tariff updates - and it's all done in real-time, with robust security.
FlexNet uses radio waves to carry data from one point to the next. It does this on licensed 400MHz spectrum, too, meaning it's not prone to interference from the various other networks present in today's connected homes and business premises.
This use of licensed radio spectrum also means FlexNet can be scaled to accommodate two-way, real-time data transfer for any number of smart devices from a thousand spread across a small town to millions over a whole region; all with the same level of service and reliability.
FlexNet is delivered effectively through Arqiva's vast portfolio of radio sites, and is backed by first-class customer support. As a result, you and your customers are guaranteed consistent service, with a smart metering solution that delivers and performs exactly as you'd expect, every day.
Data privacy is a common concern in today's connected world, and rightfully so. It's especially important for technologies used by utility companies and their customers, given the immediate links to Critical National Infrastructure.
FlexNet has been engineered with an array of robust security features to keep yours and your customers' data safe.This includes support of end-to-end application layer encryption, as well as link-layer encryption and intrusion prevention - all backed up by 24/7 security monitoring.
Security is further enhanced by FlexNet's use of licensed and radio spectrum, which allows data to be carried without any risk of interference from other networks. It doesn't depend on unreliable internet connectivity, nor does it share radio spectrum with other applications.
FlexNet has been engineered to work in harmony with your existing IT systems, meaning you can benefit from first-rate smart metering without the need to uproot, update or replace existing tools and equipment.
The platform includes a variety of standardised interfacing methods to allow communication with MDMS and SCADA systems, with the ability to tailor data exchanges to specific applications. Options include real-time data streaming, periodic batch transfer and secure web portal access - you choose based on your own requirements.
FlexNet from Arqiva
We're already using FlexNet technology to deliver smart metering solutions for utility companies, consumers and business owners around the UK. Our agreements with organisations like Thames Water and Anglian Water, along with major contracts for northern England and Scotland, will see us connect 10 million homes in the coming years.
To find out more about our FlexNet smart metering solutions can do for you, get in touch today.
Alternatively, learn more about our work in Smart Grids and Smart Water Networks.