Wi-Fi Alliance studying WiFi's role in smart grids

The Wi-Fi Alliance has created a new task group to determine which standards should be modified to best take advantage of the smart grid.

The alliance issued a report called, "Wi-Fi for the smart grid: mature, interoperable, security protected technology for advanced utility management communications," that looks at areas in the smart-grid ecosystem where WiFi can play a role. That includes smart meters, home area networks and the collaboration between smart grids and cellular networks.

The report also discusses how the standards that are being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy for smart grids might impact WiFi platforms. It argues that open global standards will be a key ingredient for manufacturers to come to market with wireless products.

Smart-grid companies are already making a move with WiFi. In June, Trilliant purchased WiFi mesh network vendor SkyPilot. Trilliant said the acquisition will be a complement to its shorter-range "SecureMesh" technology, which is based on Zigbee, to link meter collection points. Tropos is moving into the smart grid space, recently introducing its GridCom architecture for building a wide-area aggregation network for smart-grid communications.

For more:
- see this Rethink Wireless article

Related articles:
Will WiFi and WiMAX become beneficiaries of the smart grid?
Smart meter company buys mesh WiFi vendor SkyPilot
Smart grids: The next wireless goldmine?

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