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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Had a smart meter installed by EDF a couple of years ago. The whole process was drawn out and ultimately unsuccessful. They kept cancelling appointments/not turning up, when the installation was eventually completed the meter wouldn’t connect to “their network”. Since then I’ve had to still manually submit meter readings.

We are in a bit of a black spot for mobile phone coverage and that was the reason/ excuse they gave us.

I believe from UK Electricity and Gas Smart Metering that the Aclara 1312 meter they supplied, is SMETS 1.
So I am wondering (with the impending arrival of an EV), whether switching to a provider such as Octopus, would get me a SMETS 2 meter that might actually work and give me access to better tariffs.

Is there any way of checking signal coverage before embarking on another lengthy and possibly unsuccessful process?
 

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When Octopus (using subcontractor SMS) fitted my meter in June this year, they'd apparently checked some sort of database to conclude a SMETS2 wouldn't work here but the SMETS1 meter that was supplied seems to be working fine.
 

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Octopus finally installed my meter 3 weeks ago and despite a visit from someone to audit the installation who confirmed everything was in order they still are receiving data to enable me to switch tariff.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As far as I can work out, the SMETS1 meters use the mobile network (which is why mine struggles), the SMETS2 use some other kind of radio network that connects as a kind of grid. I may have got this wrong!

It might be that your mobile coverage is good, but there’s no one else near you with a SMETS2. Or this other radio network doesn’t give you good coverage.

I’ve got the opposite problem, which I’m hoping a SMETS2 might solve. Could just do with an idea of what the coverage is like.
Might give Octopus a call next week.
 

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Is there any way of checking signal coverage before embarking on another lengthy and possibly unsuccessful process?
Phone or email Octopus and ask them to confirm the smets2 signal status at your property.
I did this before starting the switch process, back end of last year.
They soon came back and said the reception was likely to be good.
I asked because mobile reception is variable at our location, mainly due to topology and an abundance of ironstone in the ground, hence the reason the village exists.
Smets2 meter does work and as it was an O2 based sim that is about the best coverage Here And what we use in our mobile phones.

I would ask for conformation from Octopus, but you can still switch and ask to get on their tracker tariff, which gives the low cost benefits, but with a dumb meter, just need to supply them monthly readings. You should eventually get a smart meter fitted by Octopus though.
 
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Phone or email Octopus and ask them to confirm the smets2 signal status at your property.
I did this before starting the switch process, back end of last year.
They soon came back and said the reception was likely to be good.
I asked because mobile reception is variable at our location, mainly due to topology and an abundance of ironstone in the ground, hence the reason the village exists.
Smets2 meter does work and as it was an O2 based sim that is about the best coverage Here And what we use in our mobile phones.

I would ask for conformation from Octopus, but you can still switch and ask to get on their tracker tariff, which gives the low cost benefits, but with a dumb meter, just need to supply them monthly readings. You should eventually get a smart meter fitted by Octopus though.
SMETS2 meters can connect directly to the DCC and, where there is no direct connection, indirectly to the DCC by establishing a wide area network (WAN) with adjacent SMETS2 meters. A WAN connection is not supplier dependent but it does need other SMETS2 meters within WAN range and at least one meter within the network which can connect to the DCC. According to SmartME, you can tell if your meter has a direct or indirect connection by looking at the LED lights on the comms hub.

Quote: WAN - Wide Area NetworkShows your communication hub’s ability to communicate with your supplier. This light will be off if your meter is using the MESH network to communicate. Unquote
 

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SMETS2 meters can connect directly to the DCC and, where there is no direct connection, indirectly to the DCC by establishing a wide area network (WAN) with adjacent SMETS2 meters. A WAN connection is not supplier dependent but it does need other SMETS2 meters within WAN range and at least one meter within the network which can connect to the DCC. According to SmartME, you can tell if your meter has a direct or indirect connection by looking at the LED lights on the comms hub.

Quote: WAN - Wide Area NetworkShows your communication hub’s ability to communicate with your supplier. This light will be off if your meter is using the MESH network to communicate. Unquote
Smets2 meters are not all mesh enabled. Mine isn’t. Seems odd they are not fitting something that has connectivity redundancy as the rollout and comms reliability would be much better.
 

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The situation is different between the north and the south of these islands. I think the mesh system (run by Telefonica) is only available in the south. In the north there is a long-range radio network run by Arqiva, so the comms hub part of your SMETS2 meter is likely to be different.

Actually, I believe SMETS1 meters can also work on a mesh basis through the zigbee HAN, but it's very low powered and unlikely to be of much use unless you live in a terraced house or otherwise right next door to someone else with a connection via the WAN. The WAN uses GPRS i.e. the data part of 2G/3G phone network.

If you live in a marginal signal strength area, it may help if you get a separate antenna fitted to your meter. Moving it around can help find that bit of extra signal strength occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for comments, learning all of the time on this subject.
I would have thought that living on the Wirral with a CH postcode, would put us in the north, but reference to north and south of Manchester makes me wonder.

I will try and give Octopus a call in the morning and see if they can confirm anything based on postcode.
My current EDF SMETS1 meter has never been able to connect, would be nice to have one that can!
 

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The situation is different between the north and the south of these islands. I think the mesh system (run by Telefonica) is only available in the south. In the north there is a long-range radio network run by Arqiva, so the comms hub part of your SMETS2 meter is likely to be different.

Actually, I believe SMETS1 meters can also work on a mesh basis through the zigbee HAN, but it's very low powered and unlikely to be of much use unless you live in a terraced house or otherwise right next door to someone else with a connection via the WAN. The WAN uses GPRS i.e. the data part of 2G/3G phone network.

If you live in a marginal signal strength area, it may help if you get a separate antenna fitted to your meter. Moving it around can help find that bit of extra signal strength occasionally.
An SKU1 marked comms unit has a single internal antenna that cannot be changed. SKU2 has an external antenna for cellular and an internal one for mesh. The SKU3 unit has an external antenna for cellular and a second external antenna for mesh. Comms units in central or south are marked usually with SKUx so you can see what you have. SKU1 does not have mesh SKU2 and SKU3 do.

Some pictures of an SKU here:


Installer Instructions here:

 

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Thanks for comments, learning all of the time on this subject.
I would have thought that living on the Wirral with a CH postcode, would put us in the north, but reference to north and south of Manchester makes me wonder.

I will try and give Octopus a call in the morning and see if they can confirm anything based on postcode.
My current EDF SMETS1 meter has never been able to connect, would be nice to have one that can!
This might help. I live in North Shropshire and I was told that I was close to the upper limit of the Southern SMETS2 area.

134291
 

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@lLexden The map suggests Shropshire is in the central area not the southern one. Perhaps the person who advised you has confused Shropshire and Somerset. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi
Looking at that map we are directly under the black line at the top of area 9, which shows on the key as “SP Manweb”, this looks correct as they are/were the local power company and are our “DNO?”

Have just spoken to somebody at Octopus who said that we are an area of “high probability” of good signal strength.

He also told me that currently they are making appointments locally for the first week in October for meter installs. Advised me to call back the day service transfers to them, to expedite the process.
 

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Hmmm. That network coverage map looks distinctly over-optimistic for the situation round here. I've found the OFCOM checker more realistic as it gives the option of signal strength indoors as opposed to generic strength estimates (which more nearly equate to outdoors).

OFCOM postcode mobile phone checker

As before, the O2/Telefonica coverage is the one to look at. What I don't know is how well this works in other places around the country.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Move underway to Octopus and thank you to “Peter?” For the referral code.

Not yet got my new car, it’s a BMW that’s being held at the dealer due to a recall!

Now weighing up chargers, before I start a new thread, is there one that discusses the best prices/ offers/ deals for installation of wall chargers?
 
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