What helps make the 'always online' society a reality?

A major media services customer can host network operators' technology with ease, thanks to sub-metering solutions from Siemens
Smart metering

Keeping customers online – 24/7

Helping uninterrupted phone and Wi-Fi access become the norm, not the exception. Smart metering from Siemens helps wireless network operators meet the demand.

Supporting continuous, broadcast-quality content on the move

At first glance, Nathan and Michaela don’t have much in common.

Student Nathan is catching up on coursework – and arranging a date for the weekend. Businesswoman Michaela is calling the office whilst waiting for her flight at the airport.

But there’s one thing they do have in common: what they expect from their technology.

Over eight connected devices can be now found in the average UK home, with ownership of smartphones, laptops and tablets increasing rapidly. Crucially, it’s not just in the home that this usage is increasing. Expecting uninterrupted phone and wi-fi access while out and about is fast becoming the norm, not the exception. And it’s not only consumers like Nathan and Michaela who expect continuous, broadcast-quality content anywhere, anytime, but commercial organisations as well.

Increasing capacity – a way forward

Broadcasters and wireless network operators (WNOs) have to find new ways to cope with this demand. One way is to find new sites and build new towers and masts, but this can be both costly and complex.

Our customer is a communications and media services company that operates at the heart of the broadcast, satellite and mobile communications markets. With infrastructure already in place at its thousands of sites around the UK, they can offer a faster, more cost-effective solution than greenfield or new tower builds. 

This provider does this by allowing WNOs to install their equipment as tenants at its sites – on towers, masts, pylons and rooftops. This means WNOs can improve their network capability more easily than ever before. 

The power consumption challenge

However, there’s one potential snag. With typically just one power supply to each site, the main electricity meter will show overall energy consumption, but not reveal where that energy is being used. With the tenants often accounting for as much as 80% of the load, a simple way of apportioning usage was needed: with reliable data to support accurate billing and energy efficiency initiatives. Siemens’ solution was to install sub-meters downstream from the primary meter at each site, to give the customer an accurate view of its energy usage.

Siemens sub-metering offers customers an accurate view of their energy usage.

The sub-metering solution

Siemens installed, commissioned and maintains Automatic Meter Read (AMR) sub-metering equipment as a fully-managed service at each site. The sub-meters collect accurate consumption data and transmit it back to through the Siemens secure systems for presentation back to the customer.   Ideally, meters would be installed when other contractors were onsite, installing tenants’ network equipment, to ensure that the customer would not lose any consumption they could not cross-charge. However, with so many sites and tenants, this becomes complex. 

An innovative approach was necessary – one we call ‘Meter-in-a-Box’


The benefits for our client flow right through the chain

  • With a fully supported service from Siemens, customers have a single, accountable point of contact.
  • Sites can now go live for sub-metering whenever needed – meeting deadlines and eliminating the costs associated with meter downtime.
  • Both  landlord and tenants have an accurate, daily power consumption picture. The client has no billing, cashflow or accrual issues; and the tenants will not face any bills for energy that cannot be substantiated.
  • Tenants can swiftly begin to use the host infrastructure and serve their customers without developing their own sites and masts: reducing cost and deployment time significantly.
  • Meter-in-a-Box also removes a level of administration. Installing the box at the same time as their tenants’ equipment removes the client’s need to arrange additional permits to work, manage multiple points of contact, etc.

And of course, it helps ensure that both Nathan and Michaela can access the services they need and stay in touch without being confined to a desk. (Whether Nathan can arrange his date or not – well, that’s another story!)


How can we help you?

To learn more about how our metering and data services can work for you, please get in touch.