Itron launches Fixed Network 2.0

Spokane, WA, September 23, 2002 — Itron Inc. announced the release of Fixed Network 2.0, a scalable, cost-effective and flexible fixed network solution designed to enable any utility to meet its advanced meter data collection objectives.

Fixed Network 2.0 is one of the new products Itron will be highlighting at next week’s Automatic Meter Reading Association International Symposium. The conference, which brings together technology providers and utility representatives from around the world, is scheduled to take place from September 29 through October 2 in San Antonio, Texas.

“With the launch of Fixed Network 2.0, we are taking advanced metering technology to an entirely new level,” said LeRoy Nosbaum, chairman and CEO of Itron.

“Most importantly, the innovative architecture and flexible communication capabilities of Fixed Network 2.0 redefine the market for wireless network technology by delivering advanced yet cost-effective data collection functionality on any scale and in a shorter period of time. That means greater flexibility and more choices for our customers in deploying advanced metering technology.”

Fixed Network 2.0 brings together Itron’s proven wireless RF technology for “last mile” communications with flexible public network communications that provide communication and data transfer between locally installed concentrator devices and the host processor.

Because Fixed Network 2.0 can plug into almost any available communications network (Ethernet, CDPD, broadband, PSTN, etc.), it dramatically reduces hardware and implementation costs, as well as the time it takes for a network to become operational. Fixed Network 2.0 can also accommodate a private communications channel.

Its open architecture makes Fixed Network 2.0 flexible and cost-effective, ideal for the smallest meter populations to the largest. The simple implementation process can be repeated as many times as necessary for the network to cover as many meters as needed.

This makes it possible for utilities to deploy networks over small geographic footprints, such as areas with high turnover rates that require frequent off-cycle reads, to very large deployments covering greater geographic areas.

“Itron knows from experience that, in the utility industry, one size does not fit all,” said Doug Staker, vice president of Mobile and Network Telemetry Systems at Itron.

“A lot of network solutions are cost-effective only when built for large scale, saturated meter populations. They’re too cumbersome and expensive for targeted deployments, while other ‘niche’ networks designed for smaller deployments are constrained by throughput and data management limitations when scaled upward. Itron’s Fixed Network 2.0 eliminates those barriers in both directions.

Staker added that Fixed Network 2.0’s flexibility is a continuation of Itron’s longstanding development philosophy for AMR technology, which allows for easy migration from one level of the technology to the next, from handheld to mobile to network.

Metering data for billing and other applications can be collected from a single Itron endpoint device by any of the three methods, meaning no change-out program or return visit to the meter is necessary to add network functionality wherever it’s needed. Fixed Network 2.0 enables utilities to respond to some of serious operational and strategic challenges they are faced with today.

“With detailed usage data delivered on a much more frequent basis, utilities can initiate new demand response and conservation programs, as well as others, that put the power to control energy and water consumption and cost in the hands of their customers,” said Staker.

About Itron

Itron is a technology provider and critical source of knowledge to the global energy and water industries. More than 2,000 utilities worldwide rely on Itron technology to deliver the knowledge they require to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water.

Itron provides solutions for meter data collection, energy information management, C&I customer care, load management and demand response, transmission and distribution system design software and services, and web-based workforce automation.

Itron’s website can be found at www.itron.com

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