A buildout of a smarter power grid in the U.S. could be one of the largest creators of wealth in the decade. According to the Edison Electric Institute, it'll take at least $50 billion for all the investor-owned utilities (which make up 70 percent of the U.S. utilities) to roll out smart grid networks. That opportunity is starting to look pretty attractive to both startups developing new wireless technologies that can monitor and manage electricity demands and telcos, which have spent billions building out their own nearly ubiquitous wireless networks. As the wireless industry has matured over the last decade, wireless radios and network technology have gotten sophisticated and cheap enough that the emergence of a smart grid will rest heavily on those years of innovation.
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