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Gemalto, others join to expand S. America smart metering

Sept. 24, 2013 at 5:25 PM   |   Comments

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Dutch digital security giant Gemalto is joining other international firms to expand smart grid and metering business in South America.

Smart grids remain controversial, amid persistent fears digitized electricity grids are more vulnerable to hostile acts than conventional electricity distribution systems. Despite that skepticism smart grid and smart metering businesses are on the march worldwide, with governments and entrepreneurs seeing advantages in a switchover.

Smart grids and smart metering has also won over businesses that see it as a way of maximizing earnings from more effective collection of energy charges, billing and flexibility of turning supply on and off.

Countries with underdeveloped power distribution infrastructures are attractive to businesses seeking expansion as the opportunities for growth and customized development are huge, analysts said. Countries that are content with conventional electricity distribution systems are more resistant to expensive cash outlays to effect change to smart systems.

Gemalto will be joining Oracle and V2COM to deliver M2M technology for smart grid solutions in Latin America. V2COM is a leading developer of Smart Grid systems.

V2COM's advanced smart grid platform is said to leverage Gemalto's Cinterion modules with Oracle Java ME Embedded and Oracle Java SE Embedded, and together they help to modernize electrical power delivery throughout Latin America.

The companies called the line-up "unique," pointing out the combination of data security and modular, Java-based solutions would help enable leading-edge smart metering.

Other advantages cited in the group include integration with "big data" and automation of power networks to improve energy efficiency and improve utility companies' performance.

"Gemalto's M2M solutions integrate seamlessly with V2COM and Oracle's technologies. Together, we provide a simple, scalable and cost-effective smart energy architecture," Oracle's Nandini Ramani, a vice president of development, said.

Of all Latin American countries, Brazil appears to be more advanced than its neighbors.

V2COM Managing Director Guilherme Spina said various countries across Latin America are well advanced toward smart metering. Funding appears to be an issue.

"The modernization of the Brazilian electricity network requires a $23 billion investment by 2030 for various operational and technical improvements including smart meters, billing automation and quality control," Ramzi Abdine, regional manager for M2M at Gemalto Latin America, said.

Gemalto, a world leader in digital security, has more than 10,000 employees worldwide. The company reported earnings of about $3 billion last year.

Analysts say most of Latin America's conventional grids are due for modernization but funding isn't always available.

Topics: Ed Smart
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