Datamatic, SchlumbergerSema merge technologies for wireless meter reading

PLANO, Texas, Sept. 27, 2002 — Datamatic and SchlumbergerSema announced Friday a strategic relationship to jointly develop and market fixed point automatic utility meter reading technologies.

SchlumbergerSema, an industry leader in wireless communications and control systems will join its Utilinet intelligent network technology with Datamatic’s proven FIREFLY meter reading system. The result will be a tremendously flexible collection platform for real-time collection of water, gas and electric metering data.

The UtiliNet technology is based on a network of programmable Intelligent Radios that create a dynamic multi-point-to-multi-point communication grid. The result is an extremely efficient, autonomous network that quickly and consistently provides accurate information. At the heart of a UtiliNet network infrastructure are “intelligent” radios that serve a number of functions simultaneously.

Each radio interacts with end-devices to exercise some data collection or control function. Each radio interacts with the wide area network to facilitate network access and acts as a store and forward repeater for other radios in the network.

Datamatic FIREFLY meter interface units are low-cost AMR endpoints which use an open-architectured interfacing strategy allowing utilities to retrofit them to existing meters. This presents significant financial advantages over competing systems that generally require modification or replacement of the meter. It also protects the freedom of utilities to purchase any brand of meter in the future rather than being under the proprietary constraints of a vendor-specific system.

“This relationship with SchlumbergerSema is an important step for us,” said Datamatic Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Scott Durham. “The Utilinet system will allow us to offer a complete hand held, mobile AMR and fixed point AMR meter reading suite to our customers. Both Datamatic and Schlumberger are enthusiastic about this approach because it allows our customers to take advantage of hundreds of existing Utilinet control, information and telemetry systems already deployed across the country. At a minimum, this gives us the ability to easily demonstrate the value of real time meter reading and at best, our customers may already have a network capable of reading all of their meters.”

Don Sweet, VP Energy and Utilities added, “We are pleased to work with Datamatic. The FIREFLY system is a low cost end point that will allow our customers to maximize the value of their Utilinet networks. We have been impressed with the momentum Datamatic has gained in the water utility market and they are following this with products for gas and electric. This relationship is consistent with our strategy of giving customers a complete solution.”

SOURCE: Datamatic

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