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This paper presents a framework for analysis of the coverage and capacity of advanced metering over a wide area cellular network. The coverage analysis predicts the maximum cell size subject to an outage criterion, and the capacity analysis predicts the maximum rate at which a smart meter can send and receive messages over the wide area portion of the network. The framework permits quantification of the tradeoff between coverage and capacity, as well as the impact of variables associated with the radio frequency environment, system configuration, and network utilization. The framework is illustrated through an example analysis of Long Term Evolution, a pre-fourth-generation cellular technology. Results suggest that the network is coverage-limited rather than capacity-limited for the meter reading use case, and it quantifies the excess capacity available for other uses and/or other entities sharing the network.