Malta: Why Not a Smart Island

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Located in the heart of the Mediterranean and known for its stable economy and pro-business government, Malta is a group of small islands 50 miles to the south of Sicily. Home to roughly 400,000 people, it has the highest population density in Europe, putting a genuine strain on power, gas, waste management and other essential services.

In 2008, the national energy and water providers partnered with Council members IBM, Itron and other suppliers to gradually roll out smart meters for all electric and water customers. The utilities are saving money by not employing meter readers. What’s more, the metering data is integrated into new back-office applications for billing. It is also used for analytics that locate problems and determine when and whether to expand the grid.

So far, results have been very successful. For instance, the new smart water grid has increased theft detection, while also introducing new pricing options for customers that reward conservation.

With those smart grids in place, Malta has the foundational elements for a smart island. And the government is taking things even further in one corner. It is transforming an industrial park into a state-of-the-art information technology and media city. The goal of SmartCity Malta is to put everything a high-tech company needs to succeed in one place, including state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure along with a host of IT, media and production services. Melita, one of Europe’s oldest cable operators, is providing a seamless broadband service for Malta with Council member Cisco’s Universal Wi-Fi

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