Verizon is working on a range of initiatives to deliver IoT solutions to meet the complex needs of utilities, including reducing development costs, improving integration requirements and reducing time to implementation.
For rural cooperative and municipal electric utilities, Verizon has announced a Category 1 IoT solution on 4G LTE for connectivity requirements. The solution uses Qualcomm Technologies' MDM9207-1 LTE modem engineered for IoT, providing built-in security and features including edge processing and reliable connectivity up to 10 Mbps speed with power and throughput optimization. To meet the requirements of utility customers, the chipset also supports up to 10 years of battery life at a cost-effective price point.
Verizon will leverage its Grid Wide Utility (as-a-service) solution, which includes integrating smart meters with Verizon 4G LTE Category 1 and M1 Smart Meter Communications Device, Verizon's 4G LTE network, security and a range of cloud-based applications to support smart metering, demand response, meter data management, and distribution monitoring and control. Customers will also have access to flexible deployment options combined with other RF communication technology offered in a highly integrated package that reduces costs, design complexity and integration time.
Category M1 (or Cat M1) refers to sensors and devices requiring lower throughput, extended battery life (for some use cases) and better power efficiency than current IoT solutions. By making these chipsets less expensive to deploy, innovators, developers and businesses have a clear pathway to scale from millions of connected devices to billions of connected devices on 4G LTE at a cost structure that’s competitive with other technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and Z-Wave.
Verizon currently supports more than 3 million different utility meters on its network nationwide.