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Updated: Smart grid analyst Jesse Berst wasn’t kidding when he said companies are in a frenzy repositioning themselves to grab a piece of the smart grid market. The latest is the second largest cell phone company in the U.S.: AT&T. This morning, AT&T says it is […]

smartsynchmeterUpdated: Smart grid analyst Jesse Berst wasn’t kidding when he said companies are in a frenzy repositioning themselves to grab a piece of the smart grid market. The latest is the second largest cell phone company in the U.S.: AT&T. This morning, AT&T says it is working with smart meter technology maker SmartSynch to provide its wireless network for residential installations using SmartSynch’s smart meter technology.

SmartSynch and AT&T already have a partnership whereby AT&T’s wireless network is used to connect smart meters at commercial and industrial locations to around 100 different utilities’ back offices. This morning’s announcement is an expansion of that business into the residential market.

SmartSynch is a decade-old company based in Jackson, Miss., that makes a smart meter system that uses Internet protocol (IP) networks, like cellular or Wi-Fi, to connect smart meters at buildings to utilities. The benefit of SmartSynch’s system for utilities is that they don’t have to build their own network to run smart meters, they can use existing networks, which means a much lower cost to deploy the system.

While AT&T has been using its network for smart meter deployments for awhile, this new extension is a bet on the growth of the smart meter residential market. U.S. utilities are just starting to do trials of smart meters in homes in select regions, but with the stimulus package injecting billions into the smart meter and smart grid markets, utilities and companies are getting ready to take advantage of dramatic growth this year. President Barack Obama has called for the installation of 40 million smart meters and 3,000 miles of transmission lines.

A buildout of the smart grid could also be one of the largest creators of wealth in the decade. As Berst said recently, the smart grid will “spawn new Googles and Microsofts,” and is “akin to the transcontinental railroad, the phone system, the interstate highway system and the Internet.” Of course AT&T wants a piece of that.

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By Katie Fehrenbacher
  1. It is smart for these major companies not to ignore things such as smart grids. It is pretty crazy to see some of these major companies who decide they don’t need to grab onto anything in the clean tech industry right now. It will come back to bite them later on as they will be paying 10 fold for the same technology/company.

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  2. [...] announced today that it will open its wireless network to smart meter maker SmartSynch, allowing electric utilities to install its IP-based smart grid [...]

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  3. In the details, Verizon Wireless is now the largest wireless carrier in the United States!!!

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  4. Brian, You’re right — I covered wireless back when AT&T was largest. Sorry about that.

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  5. [...] too, like AT&T are also repositioning themselves to sell into the smart grid and AT&T says it is working with smart meter maker SmartSynch to provide its wireless network for residential [...]

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  6. [...] Phone Companies Heart Smart Grid: SmartSynch, AT&T Sign Up Texas Utility Written by Katie Fehrenbacher No Comments Posted April 16th, 2009 at 8:14 am in Energy Looks like cell phone companies’ attempts to grab a piece of the smart grid market — potentially one of the biggest drivers of wealth in the next decade — are starting to pay off. This morning Texas utility Texas-New Mexico Power (TNMP) says it will tap into the the partnership between smart meter maker SmartSynch and telco AT&T to roll out 10,000 smart meters at Texas homes. The companies say TNMP is the first utility to use the AT&T/SmartSynch deal, which was announced last month. [...]

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  7. [...] announced today that it will open its wireless network to smart meter maker SmartSynch, allowing electric utilities to install its IP-based smart grid [...]

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  8. [...] network, or build out a wireless network based on a variety of technologies, like wide area Wi-Fi, RF mesh, or even WiMAX. The phone companies and SmartSynch say it is cheaper and easier to just use a [...]

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  9. [...] business of using their networks for both the smart grid and home energy management. AT&T has teamed up with startup SmartSynch, as has T-Mobile. And telcos with home fiber deployments are rapidly looking to layer on energy [...]

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  10. [...] business of using their networks for both the smart grid and home energy management. AT&T has teamed up with startup SmartSynch, as has T-Mobile. And telcos with home fiber deployments are rapidly looking to layer on energy [...]

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