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Australian energy distribution company SP AusNet has selected Stockholm, Sweden-based communications technology and services provider Ericsson to develop and implement a 3G network-enabled communications solution to support its electricity smart meter program.

Ericsson reports SP AusNet is extending its existing smart meter footprint with an Ericsson solution that uses public 3G mobile networks and will reach a further 108,000 meters in outer urban and rural areas.

"Our partnership with Ericsson to develop a 3G solution provides a cost-effective means for customers in low-density, regional areas to access the benefits of smart meters," says SP AusNet's Director of Market Services Simon Hastings.

"The utilization of secure public wireless networks to support smart grids is significant as it allows utilities to focus on delivering energy to homes and businesses by minimizing the task of managing a complex communications network," adds Hakan Eriksson, head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand.

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