Itron picks Sierra Wireless for Italian smart gas meters
November 17, 2015
Washington-based Itron has selected Sierra Wireless AirPrime HL modules to enable cellular connectivity in its latest line of smart gas meters. The point-to-point residential meters will begin shipping later this quarter to support smart metering initiatives across Europe, beginning with a deployment in Italy.
Itron selected Sierra Wireless based on the company’s smart metering expertise and the global reach the AirPrime HL series provides. The two companies previously announced a collaboration on smart electricity meters; this is the first time they have collaborated to provide connected gas meters.
“We look forward to combining Itron’s expertise in smart gas technologies, and in particular with battery-powered devices, with Sierra Wireless’ experience in providing wireless solutions for the energy industry, which enables us to deliver the highest level of service to our customers,” said Guillaume Garros, vice president at Itron. “Sierra Wireless provides both the expertise in smart metering requirements and an innovative solution to meet the low-power consumption requirements for our new gas metering projects. In addition, the Sierra Wireless modules enable us to leverage a single design for worldwide deployments and across multiple generations of our products as the technology evolves.”
The HL series uses 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-M networks when they become available. LTE-M technology is expected to provide a highly efficient cellular LPWA (low-power wide area) technology option for smart metering and smart grid applications, with lower radio-frequency complexity, significantly reduced power consumption (up to ten years of service on a single AA battery), better in-building signal penetration and lower costs.
Canada-based Sierra Wireless is an active contributor to the LTE-M standard definition process within the 3GPP and has committed to launching compatible modules timed with network deployments, expected to begin in 2017.
“We are seeing significant interest from utilities in expanding smart metering from electrical grids to initiatives in gas metering as well,” said Dan Schieler, senior vice president for Sierra Wireless. “We are pleased to expand our collaboration with Itron to address these opportunities with innovative solutions that meet the stringent power requirements of these applications and provide a clear technology path as networks evolve to better support the internet of things.”
Sierra Wireless has more than 1000 employees globally and operates R&D centres in North America, Europe and Asia.