Neptune and Cellnet alliance to provide fixed network solutions

At the American Water Works Association's Annual Conference & Exposition in Orlando, Florida, Neptune Technology Group Inc. and Cellnet by Atos Origin announced the companies' plans for an alliance to expand their relationship to provide fixed network automatic meter reading (AMR) solutions for the water market and the further development of integrated fixed network AMR systems.

Jun 28th, 2004

ORLANDO, Fla., June 28, 2004 -- At the American Water Works Association's Annual Conference & Exposition in Orlando, Florida, Neptune Technology Group Inc. and Cellnet by Atos Origin announced the companies' plans for an alliance to expand their relationship to provide fixed network automatic meter reading (AMR) solutions for the water market and the further development of integrated fixed network AMR systems.

The Cellnet fixed network AMR system is a highly reliable and field proven system that reads nearly 10 million meters daily. The system allows utilities to realize benefits far beyond simply generating a monthly bill. With the Cellnet fixed network, utilities can automate move-in and move-out reads, automate the checking of reads for billing disputes, receive daily consumption history for aiding call center representatives in handling billing disputes, theft reduction, vacant account monitoring, and monitor their customers for abnormal usage and leak investigation.

The relationship between Neptune and Cellnet builds on Neptune's core ARB® Water Revenue System™ philosophy to provide flexibility for migration up the technology pyramid, maximizing our customers' return on investment in the more than 19 million Neptune absolute encoders deployed today. Currently, Neptune has over 200,000 Cellnet fixed network units (C900s) already in service and this alliance allows Neptune to address the needs of new fixed network customers.

"Cellnet has long been the leader in fixed network AMR," commented Mike Zito, President of Cellnet. "Compelling events and economic drivers in our industry have proven the value of the data and business analytics that can only be provided by a fixed network, and we are excited with this opportunity to work with Neptune."

According to Chuck DiLaura, President of Neptune, "Cellnet is by far the most qualified and capable company in the fixed network arena. Working with Cellnet is a natural way for us to offer our customers the capability to move immediately to a fixed network meter reading system. Bringing together the capabilities of these companies will provide an unprecedented level of value to the utility market."

In addition, the companies are developing an integrated system that uses Neptune's R900 RF device as the endpoint and the UtiliNet radio system as the backhaul, providing Neptune's handheld and mobile RF customers a migration path to hybrid fixed network capabilities.

Cellnet's UtiliNet technology uses spread spectrum, packet switching, wireless mesh architecture, all based on a network of programmable intelligent radios to provide the fastest and most reliable wireless network available today. The network not only allows utilities to communicate with end devices in the field in SCADA systems but also provides distributed control, remote telemetry, and minute-to-minute communications capabilities. Over 100 utilities employ a UtiliNet network not only to stay in touch with critical customer information but also to achieve both operational and financial efficiencies.

"The UtiliNet mesh radio technology is a highly reliable communications technology that has been used for a number of years in the market for both distribution automation and AMR", said Tommy Childress, Chief Technology Officer for Cellnet. "Neptune's considerable experience in the water market will help us provide several options to water utilities seeking to realize the value of fixed network A Both the R900 and the UtiliNet systems are known for their reliability and are widely used throughout North America."

Kent Murray, Vice President of Marketing for Neptune, added, "The combination of R900 and UtiliNet is a natural evolution for Neptune's ARB Water Revenue System. With the combined strengths of these technologies, we can provide a clear migration path for our customers from handheld and vehicle-based mobile technologies to fixed network RF systems. We're very excited about the value these two systems can provide together."

About the Companies:

Neptune Technology Group Inc., a pioneer in the development of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology nearly 40 years ago, is a leading provider of data collection systems, reading over 38 million meters per month. Since 1892 Neptune has continually focused on the evolving needs of utilities - revenue optimization, customer service, and operational efficiencies. Neptune's ARB Water Revenue System and FieldNet® (system software for water, gas and electric meter reading, route control, and service orders) are designed for compatibility and migratability so every utility can optimize the value of its initial investment - today and in the future. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.neptunetg.com.

Cellnet by Atos Origin is the meter data solutions division of Atos Origin, an international information technology services provider. CellNet, based in Atlanta, GA, provides highly reliable, field-proven automatic meter reading (AMR) and other automation solutions to the utility industry. Its systems are used to read daily nearly 10 million electric, gas, and water meters. With its UtiliNet technology, Cellnet provides both AMR and distribution automation solutions with peer-to-peer wireless mesh technology. For more information, please visit the company's web site at http://www.cellnet.com.

Cellnet's parent company, Atos Origin, generates annual revenues of $6 billion and employs 50,000 people worldwide. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations, including outsourcing and on-line services. For more information, please visit the company's web site at http://www.atosorigin.com

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