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Updated: AT&T may have a lot of issues to work out with its data networks, but that’s not stopping the second-largest U.S. cell phone company from using its wireless network to angle for a piece of the smart grid market, which is set to grow rapidly this year due to billions of investment from the stimulus package. This morning AT&T says it’s teamed up with smart meter maker SmartSynch to use its wireless network to connect residential smart meters to the back offices of utilities companies (the partnership was initially put in place for commercial and industrial buildings). The smart grid could be one of the largest creators of wealth in the decade, spawning “new Googles and Microsofts,” according to smart grid analyst Jesse Berst. Of course AT&T wants a piece of that.