Introducing end to end IPv6 connectivity with PRIME1.4 PLC standard


PRIME Alliance through its Application Task Force (APP TF) has released a new comprehensive IPv6 convergence sub-layer with full usage of 6LoWPAN compression layer specification.

PRIME version 1.4 represents a proven power line communication technology that performs in large-scale, future-proof smart grid deployments with operating frequency bands from CENELEC-A to the full FCC up to 470 kHz and ARIB band up to 417 kHz. 

This specification allows PRIME1.4 to operate within IPv6 network where every Service Node (SN) can directly reach other nodes within the PRIME network and accessing the wide-area network (WAN) through Base Node (BN) as an edge router. In addition, any Service Node (SN) could preserve gateway capabilities supporting multiple IPv6 addresses for wider reachability. To apply IPv6 seamlessly within current PRIME addressing structure, IPv6 interface identifier is composed of PRIME based EU-48 addressing to build EUI-64 addressing similar to an Ethernet network. This addressing scheme is also supporting both IPv6 unicast and multicast communication.  

Thanks to the adaptation of 6LoWPAN compression into the PRIME1.4 specification, IPv6 header size will not impact on the bandwidth-limited PRIME network performance and smaller packet size also helps to reduce the latency on PLC operation during transmission and reception as well as packet loss in lossy links.

Supporting IPv6 End-to-End connectivity can also provide IPv6 end-to-end link authentication and encryption to protect intrusion or attack and discover the anomaly within PRIME1.4 network.

Commenting on this achievement, Mr Nicolas Arcauz, President of PRIME Alliance said, “PRIME1.4 standard supporting full IPv6 will fulfil the utilities’ needs for a solution that is standards-based and offers efficient use of IPv6 backbone to build reliable, secure and intelligent networks.”

Furthermore, PRIME1.4 with IPv6 will enhance more innovative Internet applications, based on the networking of large numbers of nodes such as energy management for street lighting, intelligent network management, and IPv6 network can reliably transport the daily electricity usage and cost to every household.

About PRIME Alliance

PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) Alliance AISBL was created in 2009 to define an open and future-proofed communications PLC-based infrastructure to support large scale smart metering and other smart grid deployments. The goal of the Alliance is to provide a framework in which the smart metering and smart grid industry have access to open detailed technical specifications in order to develop fully interoperable solutions, allowing multiple vendors to be operational within the same distribution network in one common system architecture. The PRIME Alliance provides a forum for the definition, maintenance and support of an open and comprehensive standard for narrowband power line for Smart Grid products and services. The Alliance is open to all potential partners who agree to actively support and promote an open and public specification for the benefit of the end-user and all industry stakeholders. Visit for more information or to join the Alliance.