comm-techFast growing economies such as India and South Africa have rapidly increasing demands for power.

Smart metering technology provides a two-way connection between the utility and the consumer that enables service development and interactions that support programs delivering energy security, affordability and sustainability. This technology is of vital importance in countries with rapidly growing, high density urban areas, with high economic growth and increased aspirations for living standards within populations, such as these.

As utilities evaluate smart metering technologies, it is not only the functionality of the meter, but the choice of underlying communications technology that is of major strategic significance and requires careful consideration. Factors such as cost, security, regulatory compliance, standards compliance, transmission range and power consumption are important in a communication platform.

Wired vs. Wireless communications

Utilities in fast-growing economies are currently able to choose from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Power Line Communication (PLC), GPRS (cellular) and sub-GHz wireless to enable smart metering communication. While Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS and sub-GHz are all based on wireless communications, PLC is a wired technology. When it comes to choosing between wired and wireless communication networks for a smart meter, the latter is the most viable option.

Wireless communications-enabled meters are simple to install and easy to commission. While PLC…..

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