Radio Teleswitching is the transmission of
digital data on radio for alarm, control and information to locations
throughout the reception area of the radio transmissions.
The idea of using existing national broadcasting
infrastructure for sending teleswitching signals was considered
back in 1964 and was originally primarily intended for load management,
to enable the switching on of large numbers of night storage heaters
and water heaters to be staggered to avoid sudden large increases
in load as night rate systems cut in. More recently, it has been
developed as a tariffing system.
There are thought to be in excess of 3 million
RTS equipped meters in the field. However, the idea had to wait
for technology to catch up with it and when this happened over a
decade later, Radio Teleswitching began to emerge as a practical
proposition. Following the successful conclusion of extensive trials
which started in 1979, the relevant authorities approved Radio Teleswitching
transmissions on the BBC's national 198 kHz frequency radio broadcasts.
An important condition of the approval was that
the radio teleswitching data should not impair the reception of
BBC Radio 4 news and entertainment programmes normally transmitted
on that long wave frequency. This was adequately demonstrated in
Fully operational Radio Teleswitching facilities
became available in 1984. By being first
in establishing Radio Teleswitching on a national scale as a fully
operational, cost effective communication system for use in energy
management, the electricity industry gave the UK a world lead in
this field. The technique won the Queen's Award for Technology.
The industry holds a patent on the development
and issues licences to approved manufacturers of Radio Teleswitch
receiver controllers. The devices are normally simple, competitive
in price, highly reliable and capable of being locally or remotely