Friday, March 4, 2011

Verizon's Hidden Customers

We make note of the number of wireless customers reported by each carrier and allowed for AT&T to claim the top spot after the 4th quarter results at over 95 million csutomers. We were reminded by some our Facebook Friends that some carriers have a large number of customers who are not counted, mostly in the areas of telemetry connections. One such example was reported today by Verizon Wireless, excerpts below, that connects 70 large buildings in Charlotte, NC to report and control their energy consumption.

Does this reflect one customer, Duke Energy, with a large number of 'family' plans; 70 companies with a connection to each building; or maybe the hundreds of electric meters in those buildings, each with their own cellular connection? Wireless has great potential in aiding the Smart Grid effort in the US, with the potential of every electric meter having it's own wireless number. Verizon has a large number of these types of customers and does not report them in their 94 million plus customer total.

Should we stop reporting customer numbers because they don't really reflect actual wireless connections? Naw, we like counting noses in this horse race.

"CHARLOTTE, NC -- Duke Energy today announced that Verizon Wireless will provide the telecommunications network that will connect the digital meters, signs and media players that will be used in Envision: Charlotte, a first-of-its-kind, public-private collaboration to make the commercial buildings in Charlotte’s urban core more energy efficient.

Using digital energy technologies connected by Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network, Duke Energy will gather and aggregate energy usage data from about 70 participating buildings in Charlotte’s 1.94 square mile I-277 inner-belt loop. The information will then be streamed to large interactive lobby-level screens provided by Cisco.

Building tenants will see the nearly real-time commercial energy consumption data for the community and suggested actions they can take to reduce their personal energy usage in the office.

“We are pleased that Verizon Wireless has joined along with Cisco in making this very important initiative possible,” said Vincent Davis, Duke Energy’s director of smart energy community projects. “Having near real-time energy usage information – that’s not available today with analog technology – is the first step toward awareness and proactive human engagement to reduce the amount of energy that’s wasted in commercial buildings.”

“The Envision: Charlotte project is important not only because of what it provides the community but because it uses the latest 4G technology in a manner that could have only been imagined a few years ago,” said Mark Bartolomeo, vice president, global enterprise sales, Verizon Wireless. “Verizon Wireless is excited to be a part of such a cutting edge project that will surely become a benchmark for others who need the high speeds, low latency and reliability of LTE network in the future. This is a real-life example of how machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is an effective way to empower people as they become stewards for energy savings.”

To date, business and local government leaders controlling more than 12 million square feet of space have expressed a commitment to participate in Envision: Charlotte in an effort to reduce energy use by up to 20 percent and avoid approximately 220,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases by 2016. The organizations include:

- Bank of America, which is headquartered in Charlotte, and controls approximately 7 million square feet
- Wells Fargo, which has its eastern bank headquarters in Charlotte, and controls approximately 3 million square feet
- The city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, which controls approximately 1.4 million square feet
- Duke Energy, which is headquartered in Charlotte, and controls 1.3 million square feet" More >

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