Reliance Plans Enter In Smart Meter Business
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is reportedly planning to enter the smart meter market, just as the Indian government plans to install nearly 25 crores of the devices across the country to improve efficiency in electricity distribution.
India’s smart meter program aims to replace 250 million conventional meters to help raise annual revenues of debt-laden discoms to ₹1.38 trillion.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani led-firm is looking at this Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) business and is exploring to offer these services through Narrow Band-Internet of Things (NB-IoT). Smart meters require a two-way communication network, control center equipment, and software applications for near real-time gathering and transfer of energy usage information.
NB-IoT is a low-power wide-area network radio technology standard developed by 3GPP, a standards organization, to enable a wide range of cellular devices and services.
What is the Smart Meter?
A smart meter is an electronic device that can communicate in two directions i.e provide consumers with clearer consumer behavior information and provide power suppliers for system monitoring and customer billing information.
Advantages of Smart Meter-
- Two-way communication
- Helps reduce theft by identifying lost pockets.
- Control center tools
- Enable effective pricing
- Monitor electrical systems almost in real-time
- Minimize manual intervention in metering, billing, and collection
India’s smart meter program is mainly aimed at reducing power distribution losses.
Analysts said that the Indian power industry is witnessing a steady transition to digitalization. The efficacy of smart meters has been proven during the nationwide lockdown. Compared with the problems faced by traditional meter technology, the average monthly income of each consumer has increased. Therefore, the government has been trying to leverage smart meter to reduce losses.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech earlier this year said, “I urge all the states and Union territories to replace conventional energy meters by prepaid smart meters in the next three years. Also, this would give consumers the freedom to choose the supplier and rate as per their requirements.”
“Of the total all-India AT&C losses of 22% (FY19), it is estimated that 9-10% is related to T&D while 12-13% is billing and collection related inefficiencies. One of the ways the government is targeting to reduce AT&C losses is through the installation of smart meter,” the ICICI Securities report said.
Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom operator by market share, started operations in September 2016 and has brought in fast, cheap internet to over 388 million subscribers.
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