What Communication Technologies Are Used In Metering for Smart Homes?

Ever since the prospect of sharing and analyzing electricity usage of consumers came into the picture, communications became the central pillar in the metering of smart homes. Each meter is expected to transmit data in a secure and reliable manner to a centralized entity. Given the different environments in which meters are installed, this is no easy feat to achieve.

Today, with the diversity of available communication networks, choosing one technology has become even harder. No single option has been outright optimal so far. Instead, most DISCOMs use a medley of available technologies to achieve the effect.

Nowadays, DISCOMs in Europe and the United States are embracing the use of cellular LTE technology to facilitate communication betweensmart home technologies.

Let’s navigate through the many communication technologies available for smart metering.

1. Radio Frequency Mesh (RF Communication)

Unlike wired communication technologies like PLC, RF Communication mesh allows wireless communication as a core function of AMR (automatic meter reading). It is one of the most compatible metering communication solutions for smart homes. The RF system operates by collecting data and measuring power consumption through the installation of a dedicated module in the meters.

The utilization of RF Communication Mesh technology boasts a multitude of benefits, most notably its low-power connectivity, which translates to cost-effective and energy-efficient operations. The wireless nature of RF Mesh enables advanced smart metering functionality, further enhancing its capabilities. The integration of these modules into existingsingle-phase or 3 phase meter box Indiais also a seamless process, making it an attractive option for many industries.

However, it must be noted that RF Communication Mesh is limited in range and is only suitable for areas with high concentrations of RF modules. Despite these challenges, RF Mesh remains a promising technology that holds a bright future in the world of wireless communication.

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2. Cellular Narrowband IoT (NBIOT Communication)

In response to the formidable challenge posed by Semtech’s LoRa technology, 3GPP quickly developed a rival, the NBIOT. As a member of the LPWAN technology family, NB-IoT stands as a strong competitor to LoRa, offering extensive cellular connectivity through its extensive network partnerships.

Adding NBIOT to your existing PLC/RF Mesh infrastructure allows you to take meters to places that would otherwise be inaccessible. One of the major benefits is that it costs less than any other M2M technology, and its reliability is unparalleled in the IoT industry. NB-IoT eliminates the need for concentrators or gateway devices and meter readings in remote locations. Additionally, it allows easy data visualization, thanks to unified dashboards. And to that end, Genus provides the best single phase meter box price without compromising on reliability or quality.

3. Cellular 4G communication

The popularity of LTE-M for smart metering is limited due to its higher energy consumption compared to NB-IoT. Nevertheless, LTE-M boasts substantial improvements in data throughput and latency. It remains to be seen whether it can rival NB-IoT in the future, as the utility industry should conduct thorough assessments. Both NB-IoT and LTE-M represent cutting-edge of cellular IoT technology and hold great potential to become worthy contenders for smart meters solutions in the near future.

Read More – Understanding Your Electricity Bill & Energy Habits with Smart Meters .

In Summary

With such a variety of communication technologies available, DISCOMs can easily carry out data transmission and pursue new cost and resource-based efficiencies.

Get the best smart metering solutions from Genus Power and make smart metering a breeze for your consumers and organization. Connect with ustoday to learn more!

What Communication Technologies Are Used In Metering For Smart Homes? FAQ

Narrowband IoT / NBIOT communication (NBIOT) is a low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) technology designed for efficient communication between devices in the Internet of Things (IoT).
NBIOT communication offers extended coverage, low power consumption, cost-effectiveness, and support for a large number of connected devices, making it suitable for IoT applications.
NBIOT communication operates in licensed spectrum bands, such as the LTE bands, allocated by regulatory authorities.
NBIOT communication is designed to provide long-range communication with low power consumption for devices that transmit small amounts of data intermittently. The signal strength is typically measured in terms of received signal strength indicator (RSSI) or signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).
Limitations include Low Bandwidth,Limited Payload Size,Latency,Coverage Issues,Device Complexity,Limited Mobility Support,Spectrum Constraints,Power Consumption.
NBIOT communication uses narrowband communication, typically with a bandwidth of 180 kHz or less.
NBIOT communication operates in various frequency bands, including 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz, depending on regional allocations.
NBIOT communication enables businesses to enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, and introduce innovative IoT solutions for better resource management and customer experiences.
NBIOT communication facilitates reliable and low-power communication for smart meters, enabling efficient monitoring and management of utility consumption
NBIOT communication devices can connect directly to cellular networks or through a gateway, providing flexible deployment options for various IoT applications.
NBIOT communication works by allowing IoT devices to transmit small amounts of data over long distances with minimal power consumption, ensuring efficient communication in diverse IoT scenarios.
Cellular 4G Communication refers to the fourth generation of mobile communication technology, providing high-speed wireless connectivity for devices.
The purpose of Cellular 4G Communication is to deliver faster data transfer, improved network capacity, and enhanced connectivity .
Cellular 4G Communication is crucial for enabling high-speed internet access, supporting multimedia applications, and fostering the growth of data services.
RF Communication, or Radio Frequency Communication, involves the transmission of information wirelessly using radio waves as a medium.
The purpose of RF Communication is to enable wireless data transmission, facilitating communication between devices over short or long distances without physical connections.
RF Communication is vital for wireless technologies, including radio and television broadcasting, mobile communication, and various IoT applications, enabling seamless connectivity.


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