In "Walk-by" AMR, a meter reader carries a handheld unit with a built-in or attached receiver/transceiver (radio frequency) to collect meter readings from an AMR capable meter. The meter reader walks by the locations where meters are installed as they go through their meter reading route.
Mobile or "Drive-by" meter reading is where a reading device is installed in a vehicle. The meter reader drives the vehicle while the reading device automatically collects the meter readings. With mobile meter reading, the reader does not normally have to read the meters in any particular route order, but just drives the service area until all meters are read. Components often consist of a laptop or proprietary computer, software, RF receiver/transceiver, and external vehicle antennas.
Fixed transmitters can be installed in the field next to existing meters. The fixed AMR devices communicates with the meter for readings, and then sends those readings over a fixed or mobile satellite network. This networks requires a clear view to the sky for the satellite transmitter/receiver, but eliminates the need to install fixed towers or send out field technicians, thereby being particularly suited for areas with low geographic meter density.