Qualcomm Showcases Innovations in Cellular Communications for Smart Grid

Multimode Technology to Help Increase Reliability, Coverage and Lifetime of Smart Grid Deployments Utilizing Cellular Networks

Qualcomm Incorporated will be showcasing innovations in cellular communications for Smart Grid deployments at GridWeek 2011.

The exhibit will feature multiple vendor solutions with embedded Qualcomm cellular chipsets, covering a wide variety of Smart Energy devices including Distribution Automation Gateways, cellular-enabled Smart Meters, Home Energy Management Systems and Smart Electric Vehicle Chargers.  Technology on display at the Qualcomm booth during GridWeek will include solutions from Ambient Corporation, Consert Inc., SmartSync and Digi International.

A key innovation showcased by Qualcomm at GridWeek is the use of multimode technology for Smart Grid communications, which enables grid devices to connect with many commercial wireless networks regardless of the underlying cellular technology.  Access to multiple carrier networks helps electric utilities effectively increase the coverage, reliability and lifetime of the Smart Grid communications system.  Furthermore, the freedom to work with multiple network operators without changing equipment or requiring truck rolls allows utilities flexibility in terms of cellular data plans and services.  Today, utilities and their equipment suppliers can get access to the benefits of multimode using products and cellular modules enabled by Qualcomm’s Gobi™ technology.

“Qualcomm will continue to support the Smart Energy ecosystem by providing advanced chipset solutions that utilize the scale, innovation and cost effectiveness of network connectivity provided by existing commercial cellular networks,” said Andy Wood, director of business development at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies.

“Our chipsets will enable a new generation of Smart Energy devices, ranging from substation routers to communication nodes, smart meters and electric vehicle charging stations, to securely and reliably connect with utility systems in near real-time.”

Smart Grid devices using Gobi technology will be available for demonstration at Qualcomm’s booth.  

These devices were developed by various Qualcomm customers, including:

  • Ambient Corporation, a provider of an award winning smart grid communications platform. Ambient offers communications nodes equipped with 3G cellular capabilities to leading U.S. utility companies choosing to use 3G cellular communications as one of the primary telecommunications systems for their smart grid networks. Ambient counts tens of thousands of such 3G-enabled communication nodes already deployed in Ohio for Duke Energy.
  • Consert Inc., an intelligent load management technology company.  Consert’s Virtual Peak Plant(SM) load management system is the only solution proven to provide reliable, real-time, fully-integrated load management through the pairing of utility and consumer offerings.  They plan to utilize Qualcomm’s technology in the rollout of 140,000 home energy management systems in Texas for CPS Energy.
  • SmartSynch, an established provider of smart grid solutions with hundreds of thousands of cellular devices deployed, will develop next generation 3G cellular-enabled smart meters to be deployed for TNMP and over 150 other utilities across North America and Canada.
  • Digi International,  a leading developer of wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions.  Its products are used to connect and securely manage local or remote electronic devices over the network or via the Web.  Digi delivers energy efficiency services to consumers and business owners by providing an open platform for device connectivity via its Digi X-Grid Solutions, including the Connect WAN 3G cellular gateway, and iDigi Device Cloud.

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