Across the world, different
countries have chosen different technologies to communicate data on consumption
from the meter to the electricity company, but the vast majority use some form
or other of radio communication – sending the information using wireless, or
In Ireland, all the meters currently being installed will use mobile-phone
technology, specifically the older and more basic 2G system. Each smart
meter has within it the equivalent of the transmitter and antenna of a mobile
phone, and it uses these to send data over a 2G network to ESB Networks. Each time the meter sends data it is very much like sending a text message or a
single short email from a mobile phone.
Once a meter has been installed,
the technology it uses – 2G – will not change. But in the future, it is possible that new smart meters installed
might use different technologies, such as the Internet of Things.