T&D World Magazine

4.9 GHz Products Provide Utilities With Economical Private Spectrum Option

Tropos Networks has announced new fixed mesh and mobile mesh routers, increasing its line of products that support the 4.9 GHz spectrum. Tropos products expand the options utilities have for smart grid communications and provides them with an economical choice should they select to use licensed spectrum.

Today, licensed spectrum choices often come with limitations such as narrow spectrum availability and poor performance characteristics. Earlier this year, the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) proposed changes to the FCC that would make it easier for utilities to utilize the 4.9 GHz band currently allocated for use by public safety agencies. But even without the rule changes proposed, a municipal utility can apply to obtain access to the 4.9 GHz licensed spectrum in their area.

“The UTC has recommended that the FCC allow utilities to access the 4.9 GHz band directly and on a primary basis with other public safety licensees,” said Brett Kilbourne, Deputy General Counsel for UTC. “We also recommend that the FCC permit all fixed operations to be licensed on a permanent primary basis, not just temporary fixed or fixed operations that link mobile or broadband networks as currently provided under the rules.”

Tropos has been shipping wireless routers with 4.9 GHz radios for the past five years; its new products replace older generation mesh routers and can be used to build a network that can support multiple smart grid applications such as distribution automation, AMI backhaul, demand response, and mobile workforce:

  • Tropos 7329 Mesh Router – A two-radio fixed mesh router with 4.9 GHz and 2.4 GHz radios enabling a mesh network that can dynamically select the best band for router-to-router communications while supporting authorized 2.4GHz clients.
  • Tropos 4329 Mobile Mesh Router – A single radio (4.9 GHz) router installed in vehicles provides high-performance communications and a seamless extension of the Tropos fixed mesh network.

In addition to mesh routers, Tropos also offers directional radio products with 4.9 GHz support. These radios can be used for high bandwidth point-to-point (PTP)/point-to-multipoint (PTMP) uses such as connectivity between substations and to connect mesh clusters in less dense areas.

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