Zigbee Takes on Smart Utility Networks with JupiterMesh

Zigbee Alliance has unveiled a wireless network protocol for industrial Internet of Things (IoT) applications. JupiterMesh  is a low power wireless mesh field area network — FAN or, as Zigbee calls it, a neighborhood area network (NAN) — that’s designed for use in areas such as cities, neighborhoods or field operations. The protocol is designed for industrial, utility and municipality-based smart grid and smart city applications.

The technical specifications is built on IETF and IEEE standards. The specification includes a range of technologies such as IPv6, frequency hopping, multi-band operation and management “to drive industry realization of interoperable multi-vendor implementations that scale and are secure and easy to manage,” the Alliance said.

A successful specification verification and interoperability event took place with smart grid players, semiconductor makers and embedded technology specialists.

“JupiterMesh answers the industry’s call to provide higher data rates for smart metering, lower latencies, bandwidth management for demanding smart grid applications, security, reliability for critical industry requirements, and support for battery-powered end-nodes,” the Alliance said.

JupiterMesh’s specs share some overlap with Wi-SUN Alliance’s own field area network (FAN), which it announced earlier this year. While Wi-SUN’s offering uses IEEE 802.15.4g, which is designed for smart ubiquitous networks, JupiterMesh uses both IEEE 802.15.4g and IEEE 802.15.4e, which supports frequency hopping among other features. There are also a number of companies that are members to both organizations, including smart grid firms Itron and Landis+Gyr.

“JupiterMesh provides the enhanced communications capabilities that enable new applications and use cases for electric, gas and water utilities and smart cities that are driving the Active Grid,” said Itron’s director of standards, Ed Eckert. “These include applications to improve grid and pipeline safety, efficiency, and reliability; to accommodate renewable and distributed generation integration; and to drive improvements in consumer-facing applications such as demand response, energy efficiency and conservation.”

 

Featured image: http://www.pixabay.com

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