Fort Collins Utilities selected Tropos GridCom as the communications infrastructure for its Advanced Meter Project AMI data backhaul and future aggregation of smart grid applications across the utilities' service territory. Fierce Smart Grid in 2011 reported that Fort Collins Utilities planned to migrate all its customers to AMI by installing Elster EnergyAxis electric and water meters.
For communications, Elster’s EnergyAxis Gatekeeper was to be used as the metering LAN to connect smart power and water meters. Tropos’ GridCom would extend across Fort Collins Utilities’ service territory, providing wireless broadband backhaul from the metering LAN to the utilities’ existing fiber network.
"Private wireless IP broadband networks enable utilities to conserve energy, provide customer value, reduce costs, increase reliability, meet government mandates and increase customer satisfaction," Rob Pilgrim, Vice President of Business and Corporate Development, Tropos Networks told FierceSmartGrid.
Private wireless IP broadband networks have been used by utilities since 2004, when the City of Corpus Christi installed a Tropos network to provide communications for a gas and water AMR system as well as other municipal applications, according to Pilgrim.
The next generation of wireless technologies, such as LTE-Advanced, will include capabilities such as self-organizing topologies, heterogeneous networks, picocell mesh and carrier aggregation.