"We believe the initiative we have announced today with T-Mobile should fundamentally change the way utilities in North America think about deploying AMI [advanced metering infrastructure] systems," said Jim Andrus, Echelon vice president of NES Sales Americas. "While the investment in coverage, reliability and security of carriers such as T-Mobile is unmatched by what a utility could do on their own, the operating costs of public networks have traditionally limited their use in the North American market. In contrast, aggressive pricing plans have made the use of the public cellular networks as the backhaul of smart grid systems the norm in Europe. We believe the programs we have put in place with T-Mobile can have the same impact on the North American market."
About the Solution
The NES advanced metering infrastructure from Echelon consists of a family of integrated, electronic electricity meters accessed via a Web services based network operating system over an IP networking infrastructure. More than a simple AMI system focused on billing related services, the NES system enables the backbone of the smart grid, providing utilities with a wealth of information about the status, operation and health of the grid that enables them to reduce operating costs while increasing service quality.
Unlike systems with a dedicated, proprietary radio per metering point, multiple NES meters can share a single IP connection among all the meters on a given low voltage transformer, driving down the per-point connection cost and eliminating the need for the utility to build and maintain a dedicated private wireless network for their meters. When used on the T-Mobile network, one point per transformer will be equipped with T-Mobile's innovative new embedded SIM card, eliminating the need for the utility to build and maintain a private network for backhaul communications.
By bringing the wide area network connection point down to the neighborhood transformer, this architecture allows a utility to pinpoint problems in its network at a very precise location, eliminating cost and time affiliated with outage detection and improving customer service.
Posted to: www.cellular-news.com/story/37147.php