One important aspect of the smart grid is the need for two way communication between the utility and the smart meter attached to every household. There are various methods to achieve this two-way communication, one of which involves leveraging existing cellular networks. This is where SmartSynch hopes to add some value.

Today they announced a partnership with Verizon to offer IP based wireless communication for smart grid networks, using Verizon’s 3G CDMA network. “This partnership allows utilities across the country to build smart grids backed by the nation’s largest and most reliable network along with SmartSynch’s smart grid innovations and expertise,” said Mike Brander, vice president of sales for utility and industrial vertical markets, Verizon Wireless.

SmartSynch hopes that utilities will use this solution, rather than building their own two way communications network for smart grid initiatives. There’s considerable debate within the utilities community about this approach. Some favor the ‘build my own’ approach, rather than utilizing a ‘public’ network like Verizon’s.

This development and others illustrates the ongoing intersection of communications and utilities, which is best defined by smart grid. It’s a development worth watching by all broadband carriers, wireless and wireline alike.