Wednesday, November 08, 2006

IBM To Launch Its Broadband Over Power Line (BPL) System In India

THIS may be the final word on the convergence technology. For the first time, electricity, Internet and telephone are being made available on a single line to Indian consumers. The $90-billion tech giant, IBM Global, is all set to commence a pilot project in India to launch its broadband over power line (BPL) system in December 2006.

The company is in serious talks with state electricity boards and power utilities for the project implementation. Sources said Uttar Pradesh government is keen to implement a pilot project in rural areas. What is more, by increasing the grid observability, BPL can deliver stable and quality electricity, apart from Internet and telecommunication facilities, through the same line.

IBM general manager (global communications) Gary A Cohen confirmed that his company is launching a pilot project in India soon. IBM has already introduced this technology in various countries such as Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium and the US. Along with India, it is planning to introduce the technology in China as well.

“Electric transmission and distribution utilities have come under increasing pressure to improve efficiency and generate new revenue. To change this situation, IBM is introducing a solution for the electrical power industry, which can take care of the telecommunications service also,” said Mr Cohen.

Advance meter management, asset monitoring and management and mobile work force management can be done with the support of BPL. IBM’s global software building team is working with the energy and utilities division for the Indian project. BPL will make the electricity network intelligent and keep the transmission and distribution loss at minimum. As the telecommunication signals are also going through the electricity line, the network errors and breaks can be located easily. This will help the controlling unit to deploy the worker at right spot in minimum time for solving the issue. Moreover, BPL will enable the authorities to avoid power theft and transformer problems.

“Delivery of high-quality power over a stable grid, asset utilisation and asset life cycle management, cost containment, end-to-end power delivery chain integration and infrastructure security are possible with the support of BPL. Ultimately, BPL can become a key portion of a grid intelligence system that supports these business drivers by acting as the data transport layer and to some extent as a smart sensor,” said IBM head (energy and utilities) Reji Kumar.

With the rural electrification project, the government is likely to introduce the intelligent system at different states. Private power generation, transmission and distribution companies also have shown interest to implement the new system in the wake of high distribution and transmission loss, which is over 30% in rural areas of the country.

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