T&D World Magazine

Companies Establish Alliance for Wireless Smart Utility Networks

A group of major companies involved in smart utility network products and technology has created the Wi-SUN (Wireless Smart Utility Network) Alliance to support certification and promotion of an interconnect standard for wireless smart grid devices to better communicate from remote locations and with home appliances. The Wi-SUN Alliance is supporting the emerging IEEE 802.15.4g standard for wireless communications of battery-powered equipment, and its supported MAC layer protocol, as a means to ensure the compatibility of low-power smart meters and remote wireless sensor networks. Similar in nature to other industry alliances, the Wi-SUN Alliance is committed to establishing common standards for the global smart grid build-out.

The Wi-SUN Alliance's founding members are Analog Devices, Inc., Fuji Electric Co. Ltd., Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Omron Corp., Osaki Electric Co. Ltd., Renesas Electronics Corporation and Silver Spring Networks, Inc.

"We are excited by the strong industry interest we've seen," said Wi-SUN Alliance Founder co-Chairs, Hiroshi Harada, Director, Smart Wireless Laboratory, NICT and Raj Vaswani, Chief Technology Officer, Silver Spring Networks, Inc. "World-class companies are coming together to define common technology, certification, and promotion programs which will provide a true global standard for wireless Smart Utility Network expansion and the interoperability of devices."

"Analog Devices is honored to be among the founding members of the Wi-SUN Alliance," said Ronn Kliger, director, Energy Segment, Analog Devices. "This complements our technology development activities as well as our involvement in the IEEE 802.15.4g standards committee. The Wi-SUN Alliance enables the smart meter industry to have, for the first time, the means to ensure standards compliance and interoperability to facilitate the rapid adoption of smart meter technology."

"Fuji Electronic feels great honor to be a founding member of Wi-Sun Alliance," said Shinichi Souma, General Manager, Measurement Technology Development Center, Fuji Electronic. "The Wi-SUN alliance is expected to provide world-class and globally certificated wireless devices for smart metering not only to Japan but also worldwide".

The Wi-SUN Alliance's founding members appointed Phil Beecher, who is Chair of the IEEE 802.15.4g Task Group, as Chair of the Alliance. Among its goals, the Wi-SUN Alliance will establish a system to certify the connectivity and interoperability of devices in the global Smart Utility Network. The alliance aims to establish test specifications by the summer of 2012.

The Wi-SUN Alliance will hold an Open House on Friday, April 27th 2012 at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo, Japan. All companies interested in finding out more about the Alliance are welcome to attend. Pre-registration is required: please register at the Wi-SUN Alliance website.

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