Cisco makes back-to-back deals to bolster smart grid capabilities

Cisco announced plans to acquire privately-held Arch Rock, a company that specializes in IP-based wireless sensor network technology with a focus on energy and environmental monitoring and smart grid applications.

The acquisition is expected to help Cisco speed up its ability to move to an open and interoperable smart grid infrastructure and enable the company to offer an all-IP and open-standards-based metering infrastructure solution. In particular, Arch Rock's technology is created to enable utilities to connect to smart meters and other distributed intelligent devices over a multi-way wireless mesh network.

The Arch Rock team will become part of Cisco's Smart Grid business unit.

Just a day before Cisco made this acquisition announcement, it revealed it is teaming with Itron to collaborate on solutions "that will transition smart metering technology into an open and interoperable, enterprise-class network for utilities," according to the companies. The two said they will develop a standards-based all-IP implementation of field-area communications to support smart metering, intelligent distribution automation and interfaces to the customer premise.

For more:
- see this TechCrunchIT article
- read this release

Related articles:
GE announces first US WiMAX-based smart-grid pilot
Will WiFi and WiMAX become beneficiaries of the smart grid?
Smart grids: The next wireless goldmine?
FCC looks to bridge broadband, smart grid in national broadband plan

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