The company said the new version features point-to-point cellular communications technology which expands the number of rural and remote residential utility customers that can be served by smart meters and modern smart grid systems.

The Elster REXUniversal meter currently operates on cellular and AMI networks.

Elster intends to expand support through its open communications architecture for several third-party communications technologies.

Elster Solutions president Mark Fronmuller said: "There are multiple benefits of the REXUniversal meter.

"It is a big step toward our goal of giving our customers new opportunities to save time and money via networks that interoperate as a single, integrated AMI.

"Our vision is a world where utilities have the ultimate in flexibility, security and cost savings through the ability to switch between mesh, cellular and multiple head ends as their needs, budgets and smart grid plans evolve."