AP Systems Integrates Wavecom GSM/GPRS Wireless CPU for Automated Meter Reading in Europe

Retrofitting add-on communications systems help energy providers to compete.
Issy-les-Moulineaux, France and Milan, Italy-October 10, 2006

Wavecom SA, a global leader in wireless communications solutions for automotive, industrial (machine-to-machine) and mobile professional applications, today announced that A.P. Systems, a leading Italian subsystem designer for the meter market has selected a Wavecom wireless solutions for its newest line of advanced communications subsystems for automatic electricity meters.

With the advent of deregulation of energy distribution, energy providers must now be able to accurately track and monitor electricity consumption for both individual residences and enterprise customers. A.P. Systems has developed a new energy meter subsystem for remote monitoring and control of electricity using the latest cellular wireless communication technology that will allow energy providers to retrofit existing meters or, create hubs connecting meters, with communication capabilities. The add-on functionality developed by A.P. Systems makes for easy adoption in both the consumer and enterprise markets.

Wavecom and A.P. Systems have been working together since 2002 on technical development. The combined design teams have created a state-of-the-art, turnkey terminal that can easily be attached to certain existing energy meters, thus turning them into “smart” meters. This add-on terminal answers the need for increasingly sophisticated monitoring by electricity providers. The Italian market for communicating energy meters is one of the most advanced in the world. Over the past five years a majority of electricity meters in Italy have been systematically upgraded to modern meters that are capable of integrating add-on communications technology. With a current installed base of over 130,000 add-on communication systems from A.P. Systems alone in Italy, they have proven their effectiveness and value from a mid-scale deployment standpoint. The longstanding collaborative effort of Wavecom and A.P. Systems has led to the development of products that are recognized in the market for their high quality, reliability and flexibility.

Wavecom’s Open AT® Software Suite, which allows developers of any wireless application to tailor it to a specific market, is one of the main reasons that A.P. Systems chose Wavecom as its strategic technical partner. The goal is to be able to maintain the end-customer’s current portfolio and to evolve it in other EMEA countries by offering both standard and customized solutions for connecting different devices. All A.P. System’s automatic meter add-ons will allow energy providers to be fully compliant with the distributor’s home-market regulations.

The Wavecom Open AT® Software Suite also provides for DOTA (Download-Over-the-air) allowing for upgrades of all of the systems software, including: the operating system, the application software and the network software. This capability, which is only available from Wavecom, is particularly critical for applications that will remain installed, oftentimes in remote locations, for many years.

Commenting on this cooperation, Altinio Bassetto (AP Systems MIT Division Director) said,
“We are pleased that our long cooperation with Wavecom has allowed us to explore multiple ways to make our products better and at lower costs. In fact, based on consultation with Wavecom, we are evaluating, for the first time, the possibility of producing our new line of automatic meter subsystems with an Asian EMS.”

Wavecom Group Vice President for the EMEA region, Frank Souguir added, “Automatic metering is one of the key target growth areas for Wavecom and Italy is one of the markets that is leading the way in this field. By providing our customers with the most flexible, reliable and cost effective solution allows them to make their products more efficient via the cellular networks -- we can help our customer’s customers, like large energy companies quickly deploy an extensive network of intelligent meters.”

About A.P. Systems

AP SYSTEMS Srl, a privately-held Italian Company, is a leader in value-added GSM and GPRS telecommunication solutions for automatic meter management, public transportation,, public administrations ,and security systems. The company was founded in 1986. AP Systems created its MIT (Mobile Information Technology) Division, especially dedicated to the telemetering and fleet management markets in 1999.

Headquartered in Magenta (Milano)Italy, AP Systems has subsidiaries in Italy: Naples, Cagliari, Catanzaro, Dro, as well as Bucarest (Roumania) and Warsaw (Poland). The company employs more than 130 people.