Verizon Wireless and Ambient Corp. have announced a joint marketing agreement intended to facilitate the deployment of a host of smart grid projects around the country. The projects will allow utilities to transmit data from both residential and commercial meters over the network to the utility companies' in-house systems.

Access to a robust communications platform is significant to the utility industry's move to the more efficient open standards-based technologies necessary for smart grid applications. According to Mark Bartolomeo, vice president enterprise data sales for Verizon Wireless, the company's Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) 3G network provides a secure, high-speed path for carrying data today and as the demand increases in the future.

"We've seen significant interest and growth in the utility sector for smart technologies," Bartolomeo added. "This joint marketing agreement helps us provide utility customers with a solution designed to aid them plan for long-term growth and profitability. This comprehensive platform holds great promise for extending smart grid applications nationwide."

Ambient's X-3000 node, running on Verizon Wireless' network, provides the communications platform that enables data from residential and commercial smart meters, appliances and other applications to be transported via IP-based technologies over a utility's smart grid system. This platform allows for two-way efficient collection, analysis and management of energy data to promote more reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly operations.

"As the demand for smart grid applications and bandwidth expands and becomes part of the nation's energy infrastructure, having the opportunity to offer a solution that allows for such growth in demand should significantly enhance the utilities' ability to more efficiently serve their customers and reduce their carbon footprint," said John J. Joyce, president and chief executive officer of Ambient Corporation.

The Verizon Wireless network provides Ambient's X-3000 with a ubiquitous, reliable and secure data communications backhaul for the Ambient Smart Grid platform, which is designed to support such services as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), energy management, real-time pricing, demand side management (DSM)/direct load control, and system monitoring.

In January, the X-3000 was certified to run on the Verizon Wireless network through its open development program.