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M2M solutions seamlessly integrate cellular tech, short range RF

Posted: 18 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:M2M? wireless? short range? sensors?

The machine-to-machine (M2M) industry is a highly competitive market, with competition increasing with the global economic crisis. This environment encourages rapid technological development and increases the diversity of M2M applications. Therefore, changes and technological adjustments in wireless M2M solutions are eminent in order to keep up with the pace of innovation. But it is just as important to reduce the cost of the final solution as much as possible, and thereby make M2M technologies accessible for every-day applications both in industrial and consumer sectors.

In this report
??Short range as key technology for smart metering
??Combination of short range, cellular technologies in an integrated solution
??The gateway as central node for the data transmission
??Short range technologies reduce energy costs

The M2M market consists of many different technologies that enable machines and other traditional non-computing devices and sensors to interconnect with back-end IT infrastructures in a wide automated network. Achieving an important role among communication technologies are wireless short range devices supporting ZigBee or wireless M-bus standards, as well as proprietary solutions with low power consumption Mesh network. It is therefore crucial for M2M module providers to understand the latest market requirements and to introduce short range solutions into their portfolioin terms of modules as well as terminals or USB dongles.

Tony Spizzichino

Spizzichino: The key communication technology will be short range, that guaranties a two-way communication and free data transmission in the local environment.

Short range as key technology for smart metering
Short range devices are eminently suitable for power-sensitive or battery-operated applications. One of the most relevant vertical markets in this regard is automated meter management (AMM) with a focus especially on gas meters, whose communication device must be low and is therefore powered by a battery. Smart metering grid is one of the major world scale projects and it is expected that smart metering will be used by about 80 percent of the European consumers by 2020 as part of the liberalization of the EU market. This penetration implies a radical overall infrastructure modernization, allowing the system to frequently measure, collect and analyze the consumption data and thereby improve the overall management of energy delivery.

The key communication technology will be short range, that guaranties a two-way communication and free data transmission in the local environment. Telit's short range solutions can cover distances from 70m up to 16km, however the global territory coverage and access to the data through the IP network for a back-end IT systems such as meter data management (MDM) needs to be ensured through gateways/concentrators that interface with cellular network.

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All-in-one gateway solutions like the Telit GG863-SR combine short range and cellular technologies in an integrated device.
Source: Telit Wireless Solutions


Combination of short range, cellular technologies in an integrated solution
Although the advantages of short range technologies are huge, the limited communication capabilities can only be fully overcome with cellular integration. For this reason, manufacturers like Telit have already created complementary gateway solutions. they are compatible with any Short Range network based on Telit devices and acts as a boundary. It allows establishing a direct connection between the IP host and the short range end nodes. Bringing together Short Range and GSM/GPRS, the solution creates an optimized communication system not only suitable for smart grids but also for the automation of private homes and industrial buildings or the management of large sites like the control of HVAC (heating/ventilation/air-conditioning), lighting, access, irrigation, urban signalization, airports, harbours. Even other fields like the health care sector, e.g. with patient monitoring, the industrial control of processes, environment, and energy will benefit from the remote control over the local system. They not only provide information on the IP host but also enable sending an alarm via SMS or activating an emergency call.


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