News Release

Verizon Wireless And Itron Combine Forces To Harness The Power Of Wireless Technology In Advanced Metering And Smart Grid Market

Joint Marketing Agreement Allows Utilities to Leverage Energy Communications Solution on the Nation's Most Reliable 3G Wireless Network

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March 31, 2009

Brenda Raney
Brenda.Raney@VerizonWireless.com
908-559-7518Kim Papich
Itron
kim.papich@itron.com  
509-0891-3590

LAS VEGAS, NV, BASKING RIDGE, NJ, and LIBERTY LAKE, WA — From CTIA WIRELESS 2009®, Verizon Wireless and Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) today announced a joint marketing agreement for development of secure, two-way communications that support utilities’ access to energy usage data and advance their smart grid projects. Operating on Verizon Wireless’ network, the Itron OpenWay® Cell Relay now allows utilities to more quickly collect, measure and manage energy data, while providing a reliable and affordable supply of power without having to build and operate proprietary communications networks.

A primary component of Itron’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution, OpenWay by Itron, the OpenWay Cell Relay is the router for the Itron radio frequency local-area network (RFLAN). The relay, which has passed the Verizon Wireless open development compliance process, solidifies integration between the OpenWay RFLAN and the wide-area network (WAN) provided by Verizon Wireless’ nationwide, high-speed CDMA (1x EV-DO and 1xRTT) wireless data network. The Verizon Wireless network is now available as a WAN backhaul connection option in the OpenWay architecture. Ultimately, this provides a secure approach to data collection and communications with the meter or other smart grid devices.

“AMI is a key foundational component of the smart grid. And given recent legislation that provides $4.5 billion in funding for smart grid investments, this is a big initiative,” said Philip Mezey, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Itron North America. “Working side by side with Verizon Wireless, harnessing the expertise of both companies, we’re more effectively expanding the power of wireless technology, thus, broadening smart grid opportunities for our customers.”

The OpenWay Cell Relay is available either incorporated within the OpenWay CENTRON® meter or in pole-mounted, ruggedized housing. The OpenWay architecture delivers operational efficiency, empowers all customers to participate in energy management and conservation, and serves as a cornerstone in connecting utilities to the smart grid.

“As the demand for smart grid technologies continues to grow, we recognize that our utility customers need the latest technology to better serve their customers,” said Mark Bartolomeo, vice president of enterprise data at Verizon Wireless. “Our joint marketing agreement with Itron helps Verizon Wireless provide customers with an important part of their smart grid platform. Combined with the speed and reliability of the Verizon Wireless network, this offers utilities a cost-effective advanced metering infrastructure solution.”

The communications architecture of OpenWay is fully compliant with the American National Standards Institute C12.22 protocol for transport of device data over a network and remains independent of any particular communications technology. This means multiple transport technologies, including mobile networks, can be seamlessly integrated into a single architecture to deliver the best combination of reliability and cost effectiveness.

For more information about Verizon Wireless, customers can visit www.verizonwireless.com or contact a Business Sales Representative at 1-800-899-4249.

For more information about Itron, visit www.itron.com.  

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 80 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 85,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.  

About Itron
Itron Inc. is a leading technology provider to the global energy and water industries. Itron Inc. consists of Itron in North America and Actaris outside of North America. Our company is the world’s leading provider of metering, data collection and utility software solutions, with nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide relying on our technology to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water. Our products include electricity, gas and water meters, data collection and communication systems, including automated meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI); meter data management and related software applications; as well as project management, installation, and consulting services. To know more, start here: www.itron.com.

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