Companies reduce energy costs and enhance the overall effectiveness of the smart grid. Open networks, machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and collaboration make the grid smarter.
Modernizing the nation’s electric infrastructure will likely be a daunting task that will take utilities years to implement; however, there are proactive steps that businesses and homeowners can take today to more effectively manage energy consumption. With that in mind, Sprint (NYSE: S) is working with Proliphix and SmartLabs to make energy management tools available and easy to install for end users, including businesses and consumers.
Sprint today announced that the Proliphix IMT-550 Internet Managed Thermostat is now available with Sprint wireless network connectivity. This connected thermostat allows small- to medium-sized retail business owners to reduce energy expenses and remotely monitor their storefronts while achieving a positive return on investment in just months. It supports three external wired sensors, which can sense temperature or dry contact closures from external equipment. Each of the sensors can provide independent alarms via email or text message when alerts are needed. Proliphix, an energy conservation controls company, is the creator of the first IP-enabled intelligent network thermostat.
Sprint today also announced that SmartLabs INSTEON will be available in late 2011 with embedded Sprint network connectivity. This plug-n-play system will allow property owners to access and control energy consumption from a Web portal or a Sprint smartphone. INSTEON-compatible products enable energy management, demand response and scheduled load-shedding with real-time reporting and alerts. Property owners can schedule electrical devices to be turned on or off based on time of day, occupancy, weather conditions or ambient light levels. Property owners can also opt-in for the utility to turn devices off when the local demand for electricity is exceedingly high. INSTEON can be used to control indoor and outdoor lighting, security systems, heating and cooling (HVAC), appliances, door locks and more while using existing wired infrastructure. Pilot testing is under way at a Sprint retail store where energy savings exceeds 28 percent.
Empowering application developers
Proliphix and SmartLabs are examples of the collaborative approach Sprint takes to enable wireless, smart energy solutions. Rather than dictating what developers can do on the Sprint network, Sprint makes available application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow businesses to develop their own wireless applications that take advantage of capabilities at the network, IT, service and device levels.
“With more than a dozen years developing communications products in the M2M market, Sprint is dedicated to working with smart energy companies like Proliphix and SmartLabs to bring innovative and sustainable technology to market,” said Wayne Ward, vice president-Emerging Solutions Group, Sprint. “Developers have told us they thrive in an open development environment that accelerates their speed to market with simple, unencumbered access to our full complement of network capabilities. Considering that they are delivering wireless applications for the purpose of energy management and conversation, Sprint is eager to invest in those technologies and processes.”
To meet the demand for developer support and network certification, Sprint opened the Sprint M2M Collaboration Center in Burlingame, Calif. last year. The center is a hands-on, interactive lab where ideas, knowledge and technology unite to produce wirelessly enabled M2M concepts and products. Engineers from Sprint and other companies collaborate to rapidly bring new M2M solutions to the marketplace.
Sprint recently introduced the Sprint Command Center, a Web-based portal that allows businesses with Sprint wireless-connected products the ability to manage, activate and de-activate each device. In addition, businesses can suspend service, run usage reports and set alerts on how much data each module is consuming, without ever having to call Sprint directly.
Sprint rejects the idea that the carrier knows best and instead focuses on leveraging its assets to drive innovation to the market. In support of this strategy the company will host the Sprint 2011 Open Solutions Conference, Nov. 2-4, in Santa Clara, Calif. Developers, enterprises and entrepreneurs will gather to gain valuable insight into the next evolution in wireless data. Attendees will learn about Sprint’s open enablement strategy, creating applications, enterprise M2M solutions, go-to-market strategies, approaches to make developers more profitable, and current Sprint tools and capabilities across devices, networks and platforms.
Sprint is committed to delivering and supporting innovative ideas in the broad ecosystem of wireless hardware and 3G/4G cellular services needed. Visit www.sprint.com/utilities for further details and view Sprint’s utility video. Sprint has a dedicated team that works with entrepreneurial companies to bring specialized capabilities to fast-growing M2M segments that include utility automation, smart energy, renewables, connected transportation, and a variety of other asset-tracking applications. Sprint has certified hundreds of M2M solutions with millions of devices running on its network today.
Sprint’s commitment to help develop smart grid solutions is part of its overall dedication to environmental sustainability. In 2008, Sprint became the first United States wireless provider to establish a clear environmental vision by publishing a set of long-term environmental goals. Sprint committed to reduce operational waste to landfills by 30 percent by 2017. And the company is working to ensure that 90 percent of its suppliers (based on spend) comply with environmental and social standards by 2017 as well.
Sprint’s industry-leading role in corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability continues to receive recognition. For the second year in a row, Sprint ranked highest among all U.S. telecom companies on Newsweek’s 2010 Rankings of America’s Greenest Companies at No. 6, up from No. 15 in 2009. Sprint was also ranked highest among the wireless carrier industry on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s “Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index.” Sprint also received Frost & Sullivan’s 2010 North American Green Excellence of the Year Award in Mobile & Wireless for its demonstrated leadership and commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, proactive approach to the deployment of renewable energy, and aggressive cell-phone recycling efforts. To learn more about Sprint programs that protect the environment, go to www.sprint.com/responsibility or follow @SprintGreenNews on Twitter.
Sprint is a silver sponsor of GridWeek in Washington, D.C. Sept. 12-15, where major stakeholders and government agencies will gather to discuss regulatory policy, showcase supporting hardware and technology, and participate in a variety of educational tracks from industry-leading speakers. Sprint technology solutions representatives will be located in booth No. 303.
About the Sprint Emerging Solutions Group
With more than a dozen years of experience with M2M, Sprint has been at the forefront of this wireless industry revolution, teaming with and supporting a large and diverse portfolio of innovative partners to create smarter wireless solutions that change the way people work and live. To learn more, view this special “What if …” M2M video and visit www.sprint.com/m2m.
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 52 million customers at the end of 2Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.