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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Joined Agile 12 months ago, SMS smart meter install booked for March, SMS stopped install as electrics needed a cutout upgrade,. Northern Power Grid cutout upgrade booked for April, cancelled due to lockdown, cutout upgraded Oct, smart meter installed 10 November but SMS installer gave me a load of waffle about why he couldn't commission it, commission booked for 11 December. So, SMS installer turned up yesterday , meter installed in Nov hadn't connected to a radio signal, so he decided it must be faulty, another new smart meter was installed and it now appears that it can't find a radio signal. So looks like I've had a brand new dumb meter installed.

I'm just wondering if anyone else in the north has had the same issue of their smart meter not finding a radio signal and how / if it was resolved.
 

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There have been a number in the York area having problems with the 450 frequency ones, fitting SMETS1 cures it. Are you anywhere near a military radar such as Fylingdales?
 

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I know this isn’t of any help, but in this day and age wouldn’t you think that if there’s a phone line, it could be used in areas of poor signal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There have been a number in the York area having problems with the 450 frequency ones, fitting SMETS1 cures it. Are you anywhere near a military radar such as Fylingdales?
No I'm just near the town centre in Bingley West Yorks. Terraced type house that doesn't have thick walls. The only pointer is that I have a booster for the TV signal, but mobile signal is fine in the area of the meter
 

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It seems that external aerials aren't an option on the long range radio in North region, which is disappointing. See attached.

The long range radio is 423 MHz so possible causes of interference could be low quality home automation devices or harmonics on mains network devices - aka Powerline.
 

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No I'm just near the town centre in Bingley West Yorks. Terraced type house that doesn't have thick walls. The only pointer is that I have a booster for the TV signal, but mobile signal is fine in the area of the meter
SMETS2 in the North is not mobile phone based but uses "Long Range Radio" supplied by Arqiva Limited. Apparently they have met the 99.5% requirement but I suspect that the measurement of that is poor and if you are in the 0.5% it is rubbish. The TV booster is an indication of the issue.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20
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As far as I can tell the smets2 implementation in the north is garbage. I haven’t been able to find any information on the Arqiva network, and they don’t answer emails or return phone calls.... my suspicion, given Arqiva run all the broadcast transmission sites, is the LRR used for smets2 in the north is based at the same place as DVB, DAB and FM transmitters. So if you have dodgy broadcast reception you’re likely to have difficulty.

I’m in the York area where it seems I need the 450MHz hub and SMS don’t have any.

The best I can suggest is to try contacting Arqiva by phone and see if you can get through to someone who can talk about signal coverage where you are. Good luck with that.

There is talk of a comms hub that can use Wi-Fi via the IHD but the approach is to setup a company, probably by Capita, to explore this. It may happen in the next 15-20 years.
 

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my suspicion, given Arqiva run all the broadcast transmission sites, is the LRR used for smets2 in the north is based at the same place as DVB, DAB and FM transmitters. So if you have dodgy broadcast reception you’re likely to have difficulty.
I'll second that.
They probably gave a competitive quote based on just adding antenna to their existing towers.
 

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But apparently are meeting their 99.5% coverage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
SMETS2 in the North is not mobile phone based but uses "Long Range Radio" supplied by Arqiva Limited. Apparently they have met the 99.5% requirement but I suspect that the measurement of that is poor and if you are in the 0.5% it is rubbish. The TV booster is an indication of the issue.
I only made the mobile phone ref to demonstrate that I'm not in some hidden valley or backwater black spot. It certainly seems unlikely that 99.5% of the North have successful smart meter connection if I don't, living within a fairly dense conurbation, close to a town centre, in quite a wide valley (Aire), close to the main river bank.
 

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I’m in the York area where it seems I need the 450MHz hub and SMS don’t have any.
Seems unlikely as SMS are based in Glasgow and will use these most of the time.
Lack of thought in not having both systems available so if LRR does not work, a SIM card based system can be tried, only need to swap the communication module, not the whole meter.
We have a 80dBm signal, not sure if this good or bad but it logged in quickly on Arran, may be reaching over to the mainland.
 

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Seems unlikely as SMS are based in Glasgow and will use these most of the time.
Lack of thought in not having both systems available so if LRR does not work, a SIM card based system can be tried, only need to swap the communication module, not the whole meter.
We have a 80dBm signal, not sure if this good or bad but it logged in quickly on Arran, may be reaching over to the mainland.
I can only go by what they tell me.
 

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I only made the mobile phone ref to demonstrate that I'm not in some hidden valley or backwater black spot. It certainly seems unlikely that 99.5% of the North have successful smart meter connection if I don't, living within a fairly dense conurbation, close to a town centre, in quite a wide valley (Aire), close to the main river bank.
Since you are near the river bank, you are probably at a lower height asl compared with some of your local geography. Assuming Arquiva are using a location they already operate for DAB etc broadcasting, the mast location is possibly either in Keighley or Bradford, for either of which the transmit/receive line of site to the mast is probably somewhat blocked by higher ground.
Your mobile phone signals will be from much more local masts, maybe actually in Bingley.
 

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I’m in Walkden, Manchester and have had a smart meter from EDF installed since January which cannot pick up a signal (although gas meter did initially). Both meters are outside. Monthly commissioning attempts have failed and despite me telling them that I thought both my gas and electric meters were faulty they ignored me. That is until I told them that my gas meter hadn’t moved since 31/8 this year and now they’re coming to check them over and replace. Weird that!
 

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Monthly commissioning attempts have failed and despite me telling them that I thought both my gas and electric meters were faulty they ignored me.
If you press the orange button, or either of them, do they give a screen showing signal strength? The gas meter is likely to be on the HAN home area network, and communicate through the electric meter, they only have limited battery power.
20201215_085756~2.jpg
 

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My meter for Octopus Agile was fitted in June. A 'desktop survey' predicted poor SMETS2 coverage here so they fitted a SMETS1. No real reason why they can't do that for anyone else.
 

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They don’t like to fit smets1 as these don’t contribute towards the smart meter targets. Similarly I was predicted problems, sure enough it doesn’t work, but nothing else was by offered so it may be they just don’t do this any more.
 

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Essentially it just needs a different transmitter, SMETS 1 always used 2G, Arqiva put their trust in LRR, they should add a 2G communications module, but they don't.

Scotland and the North of England
Long-Range Radio communications (LRR) is used by Arqiva Limited in Scotland and the North of England. The LRR system uses infrastructure and technology similar to that already used for other important national communications networks, such as those for emergency services and keeping lifeboat stations connected. Communication towers communicate directly with smart meter Communications Hubs in homes.
By 2021 Arqiva Limited will have achieved their contacted coverage of at least 99.5%.
Rest of England and Wales
The 2G/3G cellular radio communications network is used by Telefónica in the rest of England and Wales. This system is commonly used by mobile phones. In a cellular system, geographical areas are divided into regular shaped "cells".
Additionally Telefónica also use local mesh networks to fill in the mobile coverage gaps.
By 2021 Telefónica will have achieved their contacted coverage of at least 99.25% in the Central and South Regions.


Read more at: UK Electricity and Gas Smart Metering © SmartMe.co.uk
 

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Arqiva are continuing to improve coverage and claim around 1100 masts, but I suspect that is whole UK and not just smart meter area. As they don't compete directly, they are able to install their transmitters on masts owned by any mobile network. The theory is that by end of next year (2021) that will give them better coverage than the ”O2 only” solution in Central/South. Of course Telefonica argue that their mesh and antenna options give them better coverage!

I suspect some Arqiva meters do not get a signal due to low quality devices nearby creating interference on the 400mhz band. I would suggest OP looks at that and be particularly wary of powerline devices as they are very RF noisy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don't have any wifi range extenders or use the house wiring for anything other than electricity. I've got EE supplied router, Philips Hue hub (2400-2483.5 MHz) contolling 2 lights and 2 plug adapters and Honeywell Evohome heating controller linked to the boiler wireless relay (868mhz) and controlling 4 radiator TRV's (868mhz). That's it.
 
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