Verizon recently announced Grid Wide Utility Solutions, a new Internet of Things (IoT) platform service offering utility companies an easy on-ramp to grid modernization. Now available in the U.S., Grid Wide offers electric utility companies an integrated solution for smart metering, demand response, meter data management and distribution monitoring and control.

With 147 million electric meters in the U.S. today, Verizon’s Grid Wide aims to transform the delivery and consumption of energy nationwide for investor-owned, cooperative and municipal utilities and their customers. Designed to maximize the benefits of smart meters, the solution comes equipped with a wide range of cloud-based applications intended to help utility companies drive incremental revenue, reduce operating costs, increase efficiency and improve customer experience.

Why Grid Modernization Matters

“Historically, utility companies have constructed costly communications networks and installed premise-based servers designed to last for at least a decade,” said Jay Olearain, director of business development for energy & utilities, IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon. “The industry has since realized that the coverage, reliability and security of public wireless networks have evolved well beyond anything that they can construct on their own efficiently and with scale.”

According to industry estimates, at least 60 percent of utility companies only become aware of outages as a result of customer notifications.

Enter Smart Energy As-A-Service

“What is really cool about our smart grid technology – and very disruptive – is that we have pre-built Grid Wide as an as-a-service model, which removes the complexities, time and cost for utilities with having to build their own solution. As a result, utilities don’t have to swap out their entire meter population, they can start to solve the problem areas right now on a per-month, per-meter cost basis,” Olearain added.

How Grid Wide Works

By delivering smart energy as-a-service, Grid Wide offers more to utility companies than simply the ability to read their smart meters remotely. It turns the utility-owned meters into a power-quality sensor to help utility companies understand the quality of the electricity they are delivering to their customers.

With Grid Wide, the utility’s smart meter communicates its meter data over Verizon’s wireless network, through Verizon’s private network and then to Verizon’s cloud environment.

The solution’s pre-configured data and analytics dashboards provide timely information regarding outages and abnormal usage patterns while also helping utilities drive revenue.

The Road Ahead

“This is only a starting point. Our roadmap also includes certifying gas and water meter manufacturers in the coming months,” added Olearain.

Verizon has more than a dozen years of experience in developing and deploying IoT connected solutions, and today manages millions of connected devices. Verizon’s revenue from the IoT and telematics totaled approximately $165 million in second-quarter 2015 and $320 million year to date.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering the promise of the digital world. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with 109.5 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide. A Fortune 15 company with more than $127 billion in 2014 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 178,500.