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Project: T123700 #3505

The primary objective of this Report is to investigate how wireless communications can be applied in the electric utility industry, while taking into account security concerns and reliability issues that must be considered and mitigated for their effective application. A list of technologies that were considered included:

  1. 6LoWPAN
  2. 3G+4G architectures, including GSM, CDMA, WiMAX, LTE
  3. IEEE 802.11
  4. 900 MHz spread spectrum
  5. RF Mesh (Zigbee, etc.)
  6. Infrared

The project objective was achieved through:

  • A comprehensive literature search and review of related wireless industry trends and standards including trade publications, manufacturer information, technical journals, Standards working groups, conference presentations, and Quanta Technology team experiences.
  • A survey of IPSIG participants and industry vendors to document current utility practices in wireless applications surveyed in the three areas: technical performance and reliability, security, and utility applications. Vendors were selected and reviewed such that there would be a sample cross section of available wireless platforms.

While there are a vast number of industry documents on wireless, there does not seem to be a single authoritative source of information with comparisons of wireless features focused on the electric utility industry perspective. This project develops a ‘roadmap” framework for utilities, and a valuable sharing of “lessons learned” when it comes to implementation of new technology and solutions.


 Wireless security, utility wireless applications, wireless protocols, wireless technical performance