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Elster, Itron, Landis+Gyr, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) of Japan, and Silver Spring Networks have announced the release of the 802.15.4g radio standard by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The new standard enables interoperable communications between certain smart grid devices, including smart meters and smart home appliances. The new standard represents a significant move forward in establishing common and consistent communication specifications for utilities deploying smart grid technologies.

Elster, Itron, Landis+Gyr, NICT, and Silver Spring Networks were active participants in defining the standard to ensure backward compatibility with existing deployed devices and that features necessary for long-term operation were represented. The standard’s baseline specifications for wireless communications will allow millions of devices to interoperate with each other in mesh, star, point-to-point, or any other topology.

The companies report, “A significant, internationally recognized ecosystem contributed to the development of the standard and included smart grid platform providers, equipment vendors, silicon suppliers, electric and gas utilities, and government research, standards, and regulatory agencies. The standard is already supported by products from a large number of global vendors and is expected to rapidly gain worldwide adoption.”

Elster Solutions president Ed Myska explains, “True system interoperability, achievable by establishing open standards, will enable the future of Smart Grid platforms. As one of the leaders of the IEEE 802.15.4g effort, Elster will continue to drive open standards together with the global community. Our universal platforms are designed with 802.15.4g, enabling the greatest flexibility for utilities, and we will continue to drive development of future Smart Grid standards.”

Simon Pontin, Itron Chief Technology Officer notes that, “Standards help simplify this environment by enabling coexistence of multi-vendor components. As a global smart grid influencer, we’re advocating for standards that can be applied internationally as smart metering and smart grid continue to evolve at a rapid pace outside of North America.”

Ruben Salazar, Landis+Gyr’s Director of Research and Technology calls the amendment “one of the critical building blocks of a standards-based communication stack that will allow Landis+Gyr to continue to advance solutions with multiple vendors and applications that meet the needs of the various geographical and regulatory environments around the world.”

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