Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Iskraemeco picks Sierra Wireless for Dutch smart meter deployment

Steve Rogerson
November 3, 2015
Slovenian advanced metering management provider Iskraemeco has selected Sierra Wireless AirPrime HL embedded modules to enable cellular connectivity in smart metering deployments worldwide.
Modules for 2G and 3G networks were selected as part of the introduction of next generation smart electricity meters, as well as for a smart metering project that will begin deploying across the Netherlands next year.
Iskraemeco selected Sierra Wireless based on the Canadian company’s expertise in wireless for applications in the energy market and the service it delivered in previous projects with Iskraemeco. The two companies have been working together to build and deploy smart metering with cellular connectivity for more than a decade.
“Sierra Wireless demonstrates a clear understanding of the metering market and what we need to effectively develop and market our products,” said Janez Zavašnik, communications technology manager for Iskraemeco. “The AirPrime HL modules offered us the flexibility we needed in our product line to effectively address worldwide markets in an efficient, cost-effective solution. With the know-how from both companies, we have developed smart metering which provides a reliable and stable connectivity during the electricity meters’ lifespan.”
The modules are claimed to be the smallest embedded wireless modules (22 by 23mm) to be completely interchangeable across 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. They are pre-certified with network operators worldwide and provide device manufacturers with the ability to serve different regions, across multiple network technologies, with one device design.
They use the CF3 form factor, which is footprint-compatible across product lines and network technologies and will remain interchangeable with future versions of the modules, including those for LTE-MTC networks when they become available. LTE-MTC technology is expected to provide an efficient cellular LPWA (low-power wide area) technology option for smart metering and smart grid applications, with lower radio-frequency complexity, reduced power consumption, better in-building signal penetration and lower costs.
The firmware is designed to be future-proof as well. Using AirVantage Fota Edition, a cloud-based platform, users can upgrade device firmware over-the-air for thousands or even millions of deployed devices at a time, ensuring they can stay in service for many years while maintaining security and efficiently managing operating costs.
“The AirPrime HL series was designed with customers like Iskraemeco in mind,” said Dan Schieler, senior vice president at Sierra Wireless. “They need to be able to manufacture and deploy their devices worldwide with minimal adjustments to their manufacturing and supply processes. This is a key factor that the HL series offers, with pin-to-pin compatibility from 2G through to 4G technologies and flexible installation options to streamline manufacturing processes and support deployments across multiple networks around the world.”