Verizon and Itron develop wireless tech in for smart grid projects

Liberty Lake, WA, April 2, 2009 — Itron Inc. and Verizon Wireless announced a joint marketing agreement for development of secure, two-way communications that will be intended to support utilities’ access to energy usage data and advance their smart grid projects. Operating on Verizon Wireless’ network, the Itron OpenWay Cell Relay now allows utilities to collect, measure and manage energy data, while providing a reliable and affordable supply of power without having to build and operate proprietary communications networks, according to the companies.

A primary component of Itron’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution, OpenWay by Itron, the OpenWay Cell Relay is the router for the Itron radio frequency local-area network (RFLAN). The relay, now certified to run on Verizon Wireless’ network through the wireless leader’s open development program, solidifies integration between the OpenWay RFLAN and the wide-area network (WAN) provided by Verizon Wireless’ nationwide, high-speed CDMA (1x EV-DO and 1xRTT) wireless data network. The Verizon Wireless network is now available as a WAN backhaul connection option in the OpenWay architecture. Ultimately, this provides a secure, open-standards approach to data collection and communications with the meter or other smart grid devices.

The communications architecture of OpenWay is compliant with the American National Standards Institute C12.22 protocol for transport of device data over a network and remains independent of any particular communications technology.

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