Although the Smart Metering or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) being rolled out by electric utilities worldwide, the last mile connectivity continues to haunt the efficiency as well as the rollout programs in many countries. The widely adopted communication architectures deployed in AMI projects involve RF/PLC/BPL for last mile connection from a Data Concentrator Unit (DCU) to a group of meters; and the DCUs transmit the data to the utility’s sever on the wide area network – GPRS/fiber networks. This architecture evolved over the past ten years particularly because early mover utilities wanted dedicated communication network which they could control. Now that most buildings and campuses (even in smaller towns in developing countries) have broadband internet connections, utilities can leverage the existing communication infrastructure for AMI. The meters may be directly connected to internet on Wi-Fi in homes/buildings/factories/commercial centres/campuses etc. Once meters are connected on the internet, the meter data can be aggregated on a server anywhere – in utility’s control room or on the cloud. This White Paper describes ISGF vision for the next generation of smart metering using internet – the era of IP Metering that would reduce the total cost of ownership and provide excellent last mile connectivity.
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