Internet Of Things
The technology to compare DigitalTF to is IoT. IoT targets the same applications and is certainly capable of doing so. The Internet Of Things however comes at a high cost: Even IoT companies do agree that the total cost of connectivity will never be below 8 Euros/node/year. Most analysts agree that the total cost is very likely higher, up to 40 euro/node/year. All this excluding the IoT device itself, although that initial CAPEX pales when compared to the OPEX.
Complexity and maintenance
The cost issue may be prohibitive by itself, however, the complexity of IoT solutions may even be more problematic. From the Smart Meter grid operators have learned the complexity of a network, and for load management such networks have to be increased by a factor of 10. Moreover, the Smart Meter was fully under control of the grid operator, but a dishwasher? Commissioning is another challenge. With DigitalTF, a dishwasher automatically knows to which LV grid it belongs. With IoT solutions no such luxury.
Privacy and security
Last but not least, security and privacy are an issue as has been learned with the Smart Meter. Will consumers accept an ESCO having 2-way access into their house if it is not necessary? Will they accept the perception that the ESCO is in control, and not they themselves? With DigitalTF only price/scarcity is broadcasted into the house, with the consumer (manually) or the appliance (automatically) to decide how to react to that price/scarcity.
The most obvious advantage however remains the price. The table on the right compares a typical IoT solution with DigitalTF. With the boundary conditions as defined and the MV/LV substation already connected to the internet for monitoring purposes, DigitalTF is approx 100 times less expensive. As a result, business cases toggle from negative to positive.