Partnership to strengthen smart grid communications


Philip Mezey,
Senior Vice
President & COO,
Itron North
Tampa, FL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 24, 2010 – An agreement has been entered into between Itron Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) and Tropos Networks to jointly develop products for the utility market, including an integrated network solution enabling utilities to extend their smart grid foundation into a comprehensive, privately owned broadband network for utility applications.

This aligns with the larger goal of the partnership, which is to simplify utility smart grid deployment and management while laying the foundation for additional smart grid applications.

As utilities begin their smart grid deployments, systems like these will enable a class of network that integrates easily with a wide variety of smart grid devices, while offering the unique extensibility, reliability, longevity and system availability necessary for smart grids to become reality, the companies said in a statement. The solution is already successfully being used by several utilities.

“From its inception, Itron has viewed the smart grid as a ‘network-of-networks’ and this vision is coming to fruition in the form of multiple partnerships that utilize networks beyond advanced metering,” said Philip Mezey, Itron North America senior vice president and COO. “Innovative collaboration with Tropos Networks allows Itron to extend the functionality of its smart grid platform beyond the meter to the next wave of applications, as well as offering carrier-class network management.”
“We are pleased to work closely with Itron in providing utilities with a robust smart grid distribution area network and wireless management platform,” said Tom Ayers, president and CEO of Tropos. “The combination of Itron’s expertise and successful track record in the utility industry along with Tropos’ capabilities and experience in outdoor IP mesh networking provides a strong value proposition for utilities making a strategic investment in their smart grid infrastructure.”
Both companies’ products are standards-based and designed for ease of integration with third party vendors and customization. The joint products leverage technologies from both companies including an OpenWay® Cell Relay and Tropos’ mesh router and wireless management software, providing a tightly integrated multi-functional solution. The cell relay, acting as a router between OpenWay CENTRON® smart meters and the Collection Engine in the utility’s back office, transports usage data between the meter and the utility operations centers. In addition, Tropos routers support multiple distribution area network applications and end points including distribution automation, substation security and mobile utility worker applications.