Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — May 29, 2012 – The PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) Alliance has reported progress in work on the extension to 500 kHz band, as well as on other activities.

The PRIME FCC bands will span from 40-490 kHz with a data rate of 980 kbps maximum. The same approach applied to the current PRIME specification (v1.3.6) will be taken but extended to other bands, focussing on an outcome of the same technology interoperability, with support for multiple bands.

The benefit of this work,  by the PRIME Alliance Technical Working Group,  is expected to pave the way for PRIME band FCC to be used for metering applications and other applications such as pilot wire communications that require high data rates outside of Europe.

Work continues as the group defines other PHY parameters and plans to finish the PHY layer by the end of the summer of 2012.

WAN protocol status
PRIME’s recently formed WAN Protocol Task Force has the objective to produce an open standard, generic and secure solution suitable for all utilities that wish to use it for its specific purpose and conduct similar trials to those conducted by Iberdrola with the first smart meters pilot project using PRIME protocols.

This specification is based on web services and an efficient data transfer method for bulk data. The outcome of this task force is expected to be approved by the PRIME Board of Directors and then go to international standardization for communication between the data concentrator units and AMM Systems as early as the end of summer 2012.

Security coordinator appointed
To facilitate the necessary security requirements the Alliance has appointed Michael John from Elster Group as the PRIME security coordinator. With a sound background in telecommunication and data security, he leads the group wide smart metering security and privacy architecture definition and implementation function within Elster and participates in several EU mandated programs and work groups regarding smart grid security and privacy.

In the role as PRIME security coordinator, he will elaborate and reconcile the needed work packages together with the individual PRIME task forces of the Technical Working Group. This should lead to a sound security protocol design by the end of 2012 with the given goal of efficiency and protection by driving the standardization work and ensuring that sufficient privacy and security means are integrated in the core specifications.