Eastern Europe's first fully large-scale automated meter monitoring network ramps up

Coronis and CMC Ekocon have announced their partnership in the first large-scale automatic metering (AMR) network in Eastern Europe. Approximately 30,000 water meters will be deployed covering a region that includes the cities of Koper, Izola, and Piran, Slovenia. The installation is the first of its type to offer such a high level of automated data collection and remote network monitoring services...

CHICAGO, March 22, 2006 -- Coronis and CMC Ekocon have announced their partnership in the first large-scale automatic metering (AMR) network in Eastern Europe. Approximately 30,000 water meters will be deployed covering a region that includes the cities of Koper, Izola, and Piran, Slovenia. The installation is the first of its type to offer such a high level of automated data collection and remote network monitoring services.

The leading distributor in the Central and Eastern European metering market, CMC Ekocon is integrating Wavenis wireless technology from Coronis in order to provide more efficient and cost-effective services to WW Koper utility customers. Coronis designs and develops innovative ultra low-power and long-range wireless technologies, with turnkey OEM solutions specially engineered for remote and automatic metering applications.

This agreement illustrates the coastal city of Koper's innovative vision and desire to enhance its infrastructure with cutting-edge technologies for automatic metering while respecting strict ROI constraints. Network deployment will take place over three years, leveraging the flexibility of Wavenis solutions and their ability to be used for walk-by meter reading using handheld terminals in the short term, while offering a smooth, cost-effective transition to entirely automated fixed network operation over time.

A battery-powered wireless module is connected to each water meter, enabling value-added services, storing large amounts of meter data, and responding to data and administration requests from handheld terminals or a remote server. The system prevents serious problems by spontaneously sending alerts over a wireless connection in case of anomalies such as leaks, backflow, vandalism, or low batteries. The fixed network uses GSM-SMS concentrators to handle groups of up to 2,000 water meters each. Depending on the landscape, Wavenis-enabled range extenders will be installed to ensure that 100% of the nodes in each cluster are covered at the most affordable level. A middleware application running on the utility operator's server handles two-way end-to-end communications throughout the entire network from a central location to each endpoint and intermediary node.

This project shows how the Eastern European market is ready to use technology innovations to provide new added value services for automatic meter reading. By choosing Wavenis-based products, with their high real-time accuracy, CMC Ekocon improves the precision and efficiency of its systems while enhancing service to customers. The new meter reading systems will provide the utility company with more regular and faster reading of all residential customer meters.

"The innovative and field-proven Coronis solution is making it possible for CMC to deploy the first large-scale AMR network in Eastern Europe with total confidence and cost-effectiveness for both mobile and fixed network applications. With references like this, CMC becomes the Central and East European leader in this very promising market," says Oliver Macnic, CEO of CMC Ekocon.

"CMC Ekocon's choice of Coronis for this ground-breaking project confirms the soundness of our strategy as well as the global nature of requirements for remote metering solutions. This partnership also reinforces our position as a leading supplier of robust, field-proven, and cost-effective solutions in very competitive field of utility metering," adds Olivier Guilbaud, Coronis president.

CMC Ekocon (www.cmc-ekocon.com) d.o.o. was founded in 1990 in order to provide specialization within CMC System (founded in 1989) in foreign trade and representation; design, implementation and maintenance of measurement systems for the supervision and control of technological processes; design and installation of electric heating systems; reengineering, installation and servicing of water meters; production of equipment for remote reading of liquid, gas and electric power consumption as well as equipment for dosage control; and production of accessories for flow metering. Our activity is closely connected to "water" since the company is a supplier of pipes, fittings and nodular (ductile) alloys, valves and other armatures, water meters, flow, pressure and level meters as well as equipment for water quality analysis to water supply, utility and other companies.

Based in Montpellier, France, Coronis (www.coronis.com) designs and develops wireless OEM solutions for ultra low-power (ULP) and long-range applications. The company has created Wavenis®, a technology core for its RF ASIC and wireless communication protocol. Using Wavenis, Coronis has developed a complete line of wireless platforms for OEMs, meeting technical, operational, and cost requirements of ultra low-powered wireless mesh sensor networks. Coronis solutions are targeted towards system integrators and manufacturers. With over 500,000 Wavenis end-points now deployed by major industrial players worldwide, Coronis employs over 40 people. The company forecasts revenue around $18 million over the next two years in markets for remote utility meter monitoring, home comfort, alarms for protecting people and property, home healthcare, industrial automation, centralized building management, access control, refrigeration monitoring, as well as long-range UHF RFID applications for the identification, tracking, and locating people and objects.

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