Sprint M2M to Boost Utility Industry Operations; Make Systems Smarter

Itron, Lanner, Power Insight and Silver Spring offer Sprint connectivity to utilities for automated monitoring and data collection

Electric and water utilities are changing the way they operate, investing in automation and wireless communications to make their distribution and management systems smarter. Sprint is playing a key role by providing the wireless infrastructure and collaborating with innovative companies that specialize in enhancing reliability, optimizing service delivery and improving efficiency. Sprint today announced agreements with Itron, Inc; Lanner Electronics, Inc.; Power Insight and Silver Spring Networks where these companies will offer Sprint wireless network connectivity in support of their automated products and services.

  • Itron has enabled their Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solution for use on the Nationwide Sprint Network. This solution allows water, gas and electric utilities to wirelessly collect metering data from Itron meters and a wide variety of other manufacturers’ meters using Itron ERT® modules (100W / 100G), over the highly reliable and secure Sprint 3G network.
  • Lanner Electronics is working with Sprint to certify its Substation Automation computing platform. The solution will give utilities the option of remotely managing substation assets without relying on costly private networks. Lanner provides real-time monitoring and edge computing and control of Substation Automation that is ruggedized and easily installed.
  • Power Insight provides residential and lite commercial building automation platforms that give utilities and business owners the option of using public cellular without having to rely on local broadband and contend with private network firewall configurations. This gateway allows the automation, scheduling and control of sensors, large energy loads, HVAC and lighting that can be easily installed and result in immediate energy savings. The Power Insight software platform allows the end user to monitor and control their energy consumption. It also provides a rich API allowing easy customization of device automation.
  • The Silver Spring Smart Energy Platform combines networking, software and services to enable utilities to build the smart grid. A standards-based system, from the customer’s home or business to the back office, the Silver Spring solution supports multiple smart grid applications running over a unified network and leveraging common back-office software. Utilities from small to large benefit from a lower total cost of ownership and the flexibility to focus on advanced metering, distribution automation and demand-side management in any order and combination they need.

Wayne Ward, vice president-Emerging Solutions Group, Sprint, said:

“With the rising demand for energy and natural resources, machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions give utilities and their customers a powerful emerging tool for managing demand and promoting sustainability.”

These new agreements underscore our continued commitment to the utility industry. Sprint has a dedicated team to fast track bringing M2M solutions to market. To date, Sprint has certified hundreds of M2M solutions and has millions of devices running on its network today.

Public and Private Networks

For some time now a debate has been raging over whether utilities should continue to invest in privately owned wireless networks or work with a public carrier for their smart grid communications needs. The industry is beginning to recognize the advantages of public wireless networks and how to incorporate them into their communications mix. Utilities are working with Sprint to better understand how they can utilize the latest network technology and benefit from Sprint’s Network Vision deployment. By working with Sprint, utilities reduce the risks of operating a private network, such as network obsolescence and stranded asset deployment. The Nationwide Sprint Network and Sprint 3G network use inherently secure CDMA technology. Sprint offers scalable and flexible network solutions for utilities and application developers in support of Advanced Meter Reading, Distribution Automation, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and Demand Response.

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