June 6, 2014

British utility specialist ASL Holdings Ltd. develops AMR solutions with support from Telit’s M2M technology

The Delta Plus Mobile AMCM Wireless Modem from ASL Holdings Ltd was especially developed for use in the utility industry and allows the automatic remote access to applications for data capture. The modem makes automated bi-directional communication between energy meters and supply companies easier. The transferred data does not just relate to meter readings, but also includes information on consumption, tariffs, operating reports and additional services. To date, ASLH has sold 148,000 products to leading energy companies in the United Kingdom, including energy providers such as PRI Ltd (part of Secure Meters of India), the Elster Group and Landys+Gyr.

Maximum compatibility and user-friendliness

The AMCM wireless modem was developed for OEM integration into any metering and telemetry product. Remote operation is carried out via the cellular mobile radio networks. The system can switch between the CSD/GSM/GPRS and SMS data transfer modes for various measurement, control and alarm functions. For maximum compatibility and user-friendliness, the device works just like a conventional modem. When operating in GPRS mode, the modem acts like a normal IP connection. The system also supports SMS AMR for specific metering applications, so that SMS alarm messages can be triggered in an emergency.

GC864-C2 and GE864-QUAD: Ideal for AMR solutions

The central basis for reliable data transfer lies in the GC864-C2 and GE864-QUAD modules from Telit that are integrated into ASLH’s telemetry application. Both modules come with a small form factor, 30 x 36 mm (GC864-C2) and 30 x 30 mm (GE864-QUAD), and an extended temperature range from -40°C to +85°C. In view of their low energy consumption and minimal maintenance requirements, the hardware platforms are particularly suitable for use in the energy management sector. Its quad-band compatibility means that the GE864-QUAD can be used seamlessly on any global GSM network. The GC864-C2 and GE864-QUAD, like all Telit modules, also support Telit Infinita Services, which include the premium FOTA management service. The service ensures that any changes to the mobile radio network that influence the M2M application’s performance can be corrected without major additional input.

Strong partnership

In 2006 ASLH chose Telit as its supplier when the company completely redesigned its entire product portfolio, achieving full RoHS conformity. ASLH chose two Telit modules and subjected its applications, with support from the technical team of experts at Telit, to a critical evaluation. For the development of their own firmware, the engineers at ASLH were able to rely upon the support provided by technical engineers at Telit’s research and development centre in Trieste. "Of particular note for us was Telit’s outstanding service. Our customers’ tight deadlines meant that rapid and efficient customer service was particularly important to us. Telit’s support team responded with tremendous flexibility to our wishes and adapted the solution accordingly in a very short space of time. None of our wishes went ungranted," says Bill Berry, Managing Director at ASL Holdings Ltd.

Stepping up the cooperation

To date, ASLH has already integrated around 100,000 of Telit’s modules, and this number is growing thanks to the successful cooperation. "The introduction of Telit’s GSM modules into our product portfolio has made us the market leader thanks to the solution’s innovative strength, performance and cost efficiency," reports Berry. ASLH and Telit are therefore planning to step up their successful cooperation in the coming years. This will also include the use of the latest extension of the GE product range from Telit, the GE865 module. This GSM/GPRS module, the world’s smallest of its kind, features an extremely compact form factor and is a particularly strong performer.

"Telit and ASLH have been working together closely and on a mutually-trusting basis for a few years now. We are keen to step up this relationship even further over the next few years. The AMR field offers tremendous potential for this," concludes Berry.

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