Earlier this year, the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) proposed changes to the FCC that would make it easier for utilities to utilize the 4.9 GHz band currently allocated for use by public safety agencies. But even without the rule changes proposed, a municipal utility can apply to obtain access to the 4.9 GHz licensed spectrum in their area.
Brett Kilbourne, UTC’s Deputy General Counsel, says, “The UTC has recommended that the FCC allow utilities to access the 4.9 GHz band directly and on a primary basis with other public safety licensees. We also recommend that the FCC permit all fixed operations to be licensed on a permanent primary basis, not just temporary fixed or fixed operations that link mobile or broadband networks as currently provided under the rules.”
Tropos has been shipping wireless routers with 4.9 GHz radios for the past five years; the company reports that its new products “replace older generation mesh routers and can be used to build a reliable, high-performance network that can support multiple smart grid applications such as distribution automation, AMI backhaul, demand response, and mobile workforce:
Tropos 7329 Mesh Router – A two-radio fixed mesh router with 4.9 GHz and 2.4 GHz radios enabling a mesh network that can dynamically select the best band for router-to-router communications while supporting authorized 2.4GHz clients.”
In addition to Mesh Routers, Tropos also offers Directional Radio products with 4.9 GHz support. These radios can be used for high bandwidth point-to-point (PTP)/point-to-multipoint (PTMP) uses such as connectivity between substations and to connect mesh clusters in less dense areas.
Tom Ayers, Tropos Networks president and adds: “The 4.9 GHz spectrum provides utilities an economical licensed spectrum option for implementation of smart grid networks – an advantage that utilities can take advantage of now with field-proven technology. Tropos has installed smart grid networks for a variety of applications and is ready to help other utilities implement their smart grid strategy.”