Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Prepaid metering takes a smart turn

Published:Friday | April 15, 2016 | 4:00 AMNeville Graham

Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) will be introducing a prepaid electricity solution, which it is now testing discretely in Spanish Wells, Eleuthera.

Prepaid metering allows customers to manage their electricity use and bills via BTC's 4G LTE data network. BTC is a member of the Cable and Wireless Group and a sister company to FLOW.

BTC Chief Executive Officer Leon Williams says his company "will become the first telecommunications provider in the Caribbean region to leverage its network to provide smart-grid services to the utility industry".

The service eliminates monthly bills, disconnections, and visits to the utility office, he said. "It's also a step ahead for utility companies who can reduce accounts receivable and transition the management of accounts to the customer."

Garfield Sinclair, the chief executive officer of Flow Jamaica to whom the Financial Gleaner reached out for comment, says his operation is staking out similar business.

"The implementation of a similar initiative is not only possible, but already taking place," he said.

"In fact, we are already assisting a major power company with the expansion of their smart-grid initiative," Sinclair said, in an apparent reference to Jamaica Public Service Company, which is currently rolling out its smart meter programme.

Under BTC's programme, mobile customers may top up their accounts using their existing mobile wallet, wherever BTC top-up is available, online, or via the BTC Call Centre.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com