The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has selected preferred bidders for six new government contracts aimed at switching most UK households to smart metering by 2020. The total cost of the programme is forecast to be £12.1 billion (€14.1 billion).
The Data and Communications Company (DCC) licence will go to Capita, which will then contract CGI IT UK as the Data Service Provider (DSP), Arqiva as the Communications Service Provider (CSP) for the North of England and Scotland, and Telefónica UK as the CSP for the rest of the United Kingdom.
Telefónica UK, which operates under the O2 brand, has been selected as the preferred communications service provider for two out of three lots in the UK’s smart meter tender. The Smart Meter Implementation Programme is a major national infrastructure project that will involve the roll-out of 53 million gas and electricity meters in 30 million domestic and small business properties across the UK by 2020, helping consumers to better understand and control their energy usage.
The deal for Telefónica UK to provide the communications services across the Central and Southern regions is worth £1.5 billion over 15 years and is subject to contracts being agreed.
Commenting on the news, David Plumb, digital & new business director of Telefónica UK, said: “Telefónica is extremely proud to have been selected by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as a preferred bidder for the UK Smart Meter Implementation Programme. It’s a huge endorsement of cellular as the right communications technology and of our vision for smart meters to be the foundation of a smarter energy future for the UK. The decision is subject to contracts and we are working with the DECC on next steps and will be making a further announcement in due course.”
Telefónica’s proposed communications solution is based on its cellular network in the UK which is ready to support the requirement of smart meters. This will be backed up by the use of mesh technology to connect meters in areas without cellular coverage.
A further announcement will be made once contracts are in place.
O2 is the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited and is a leading digital communications company. With over 23 million customers, O2 runs 2G and 3G networks with 4G coming this summer. Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc (a business division of Telefónica SA) which uses O2 as its commercial brand in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic.