Challenge

With climate change firmly on the agenda, the EU set member countries the challenge of reducing their carbon emission by 20 percent by 2020. Smart metering provides a convenient way to inform customers of how much energy they are using in real time, enabling them to reduce their climate impact and save energy, whilst also relaying their energy usage back to their energy supplier.

To meet the 2020 target, the UK government agreed that every domestic energy customer should have a smart meter fitted. For Energy Suppliers to communicate with the smart meters, the government procured a centralized communication service for Energy Companies to use to connect to the smart meters in customers’ homes.

This service includes the supply of a standard communications hub that will work across all energy suppliers and meters, and, crucially, still work if the customer changed supplier. O2 won the contract to supply this vast and complex communications system for two thirds of the Smart Meter installations across Great Britain, covering over 20 million customers.

Strategy and solution

Partnership with Accenture

O2 asked Accenture to partner at every stage of the project, from the initial concept right through to deployment and ramp-up to full scale operation. From the start, Accenture was involved in the design of the end-to-end solution. This covered everything from the supply chain to security processes and testing.

Accenture brought their existing knowledge of smart metering and mobile networks. They also worked with O2’s design and delivery teams to determine how best to extend their existing core network and capabilities to deliver the specific requirements of the Energy Companies. Once the service became operational, Accenture worked closely with O2 to upskill the service management team, refining operational processes to help identify and solve issues with the solution.

"This is the biggest IOT project of its kind, anywhere in the world, and success here will change how the UK uses utilities forever. I think it’s clarity of goals, quality of relationships, and the determination of the people in the programme that has ultimately led to its success."

— Derek McManus, COO, O2

Transformation

Results

As of December 2019, there are currently 1.7 Million communication hubs deployed, with over 8,000 more being added to that figure every weekday. This was an incredibly successful program for O2, which has over 23 million customers. This project will almost double the number of connected devices on their network to nearly 40 million.

The ongoing project will continue to improve and optimize the service as the smart metering deployment accelerates.

Success

Accenture are proud to be recognised in partnership with Telefonica at the GLOTEL Global Telecoms Awards 2019 for the Smart Metering Distribution project.

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