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IS Mozambique supports prepaid rollout

Internet Solutions Mozambique has embarked on the implementation of the second phase of state electricity supplier Electricidade de Moçambique’s (EDM) extensive metering and vending upgrade. Following the successful roll-out of the first phase in Maputo and surrounds, IS Mozambique in partnership with lead contractor, Itron, have now commenced implementation in the Central region of the country.

IS Mozambique provides a unique network management solution to Itron for the EDM Credelec Vending network. “We provide managed connectivity to EDM’s almost 200 vending locations nationwide, covering outlying areas where traditional and reliable terrestrial access technology is not possible,” explains IS Mozambique CEO, Hermann Woithe. “Our solution makes it possible for EDM to achieve redundancy on the mobile GSM network through our unique ability to combine and manage mobile data services that enable automatic failover between networks. In addition, IS Mozambique provides a wide array of technologies that cover leased lines, optic fibre, wireless, Vsat and 3G/GPRS to enable a redundant communication network for Itron/EDM.”

Prepaid electricity has been a feature of the Mozambican consumer landscape since 1995, initially as vending systems operated by a variety of suppliers. EDM initiated this project to accommodate the future growth in prepayment customers, improve on financial management processes and to leverage the benefits of vending via Banks, ATMs, SMS and the Internet. This national online vending system allows all electricity vending sites to operate in real time over the IS Mozambique provisioned network. The solution will initially be managed by Itron after which it will be handed over to EDM.

The multi-phased project was launched in late 2011 and completion is planned for 2014.

The Itron Eclipse system is licensed for 1 million prepaid customers. To date, EDM has approximately 740,000 consumers using its prepayment meters. These meters are managed by 15 isolated, unconnected servers and through a commercial network of 250 associated sales outlets.

At present only 16% of the population in Mozambique has access to electricity. Since the end of the 1990s, Mozambique has been investing on the expansion of its power grid, with the ultimate purpose of allowing rural and small urban communities to have access to electricity.

“The IS Mozambique component of the project enables a reliable and highly available network making it possible for the people of Mozambique to buy electricity 24/7/365 days a year,” Woithe added.