May 20, 1999PITTSBURGH, PA
and industrial electric customers in western Pennsylvania now have a more
efficient, timely system at work for them. Duquesne Light is using high
speed wireless technology from Bell Atlantic Mobile to enhance efficiency
for monitoring thousands of its commercial and industrial meters in western
Pennsylvania. The new system improves efficiency of transmitting meter
information to Duquesne Light's main computer where it is integrated into
the company's customer service and billing systems.
An advanced meter system collects data from commercial users throughout
the day, storing it until it is transmitted wirelessly to the main computer
between midnight and 5 a.m. This enables Duquesne Light to take advantage
of Bell Atlantic Mobile's lower rates during off-peak times while still
continuously monitoring and recording customer use.
"Duquesne Light's application of this technology demonstrates how wireless
data transmissions can help companies improve their operations," explained
Roger Tang, regional vice president for Bell Atlantic Mobile in Pittsburgh.
Approximately 6,000 wireless phones with a data interface are in place
at commercial and industrial sites for Duquesne Light customers throughout
western Pennsylvania. In addition to the automated meter reading, these
units are also equipped to provide timely notification of a power outage
at any of these sites.
Duquesne Light says the major benefits of wireless transmission for meter
Cost savings in transmitting data during off-peak hours while maintaining
timeliness of reading and storing the data throughout the day;
notification of power outages;
and flexibility of installation; a free-standing 18" cellular antenna
can be placed in the basement or other convenient spot at a business;
No need to install a traditional phone line for these transmissions;
communication box, using only one wireless data interface, can be set
up for a cluster of meters, with the system differentiating each user
(i.e., one box can be used for a shopping mall with multiple storefronts).
Bell Atlantic Mobile provides a wide range of wireless data services
for business including automated meter readings, monitoring gas pipelines,
fast and secure remote point of sale credit card verifications, and public
safety applications for police in their squad cars such as virtually immediate
license checks and access to local, state and national criminal data bases.
In the Pittsburgh market, Bell Atlantic Mobile was ranked
the leader in overall customer satisfaction among wireless users, according
to the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates 1998 U.S. Wireless Customer
Satisfaction Studysm. Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest
wireless network in the East, covering 120,000 square miles, and the largest
chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and
paging. The company's Pittsburgh Regional Headquarters, located in Thorn
Hill Industrial Park in Marshall Township, includes a local Customer Service
Department to provide personalized service to area residents and businesses.