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Work Package: WP2

OPEN meter Type of document: Deliverable


Open Public Extended Network metering
Date: 24.06.2009

Energy Theme; Grant Agreement No 226369

Partners: CTI, L&G, EDF, DLMS

Responsible: CTI
X Public
Circulation: … Confidential
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Title: D2.1 part 1 Version: 3.0 Page: 1 / 62

D 2.1/PART 1

DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT STATE-OF-THE-ART


TECHNOLOGIES AND PROTOCOLS -

GENERAL OVERVIEW OF STATE-OF-THE-ART


TECHNOLOGICAL ALTERNATIVES

TASK 2.1.0

DUE DELIVERY DATE:M3

ACTUAL DELIVERY DATE: M6

© Copyright 2009 The OPEN meter Consortium

Project Funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme Project coordinated by
Work Package: WP2
OPEN meter Type of document: Deliverable
Open Public Extended Network metering
Date: 24.06.09
Energy Theme; Grant Agreement No 226369
Title: D2.1 part 1 Version:3.0 Page: 2 / 62

Document History
Vers. Issue Date Content and changes
0.0 20.02.09 ToC
1.0 03.04.09 First incomplete draft
2.0 20.04.09 First final draft
2.2 10.05.09 Final draft for review
3.0 24.06.09 Reviewers comments included

Project Funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme Project coordinated by
Work Package: WP2
OPEN meter Type of document: Deliverable
Open Public Extended Network metering
Date: 24.06.09
Energy Theme; Grant Agreement No 226369
Title: D2.1 part 1 Version:3.0 Page: 3 / 62

Document Authors

Partners Contributors

CTI Markus BITTNER


Hanspeter WIDMER
EDF Aline PAJOT
Gaizka ALBERDI
L&G Heinz HOHL

DLMS Gyozo KMETHY (inputs and comments on voluntary basis)

Document Approvers

Partners Approvers

CTI Markus BITTNER

EDF Aline PAJOT


Gaizka ALBERDI
L&G Heinz HOHL

DLMS Gyozo KMETHY

Project Funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme Project coordinated by
Work Package: WP2
OPEN meter Type of document: Deliverable
Open Public Extended Network metering
Date: 24.06.09
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Title: D2.1 part 1 Version:3.0 Page: 4 / 62

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE 11


2 INTRODUCTION 12
3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 13
4 STATE-OF-THE-ART METER READING 14
4.1 GENERAL CONCEPT OF AN AMI 14
4.2 LOCAL NETWORK 15
4.2.1 Basic concept 15
4.2.2 Technologies 15
4.3 WALK-BY 15
4.3.1 Basic concept 15
4.3.2 Technologies 17
4.4 DRIVE-BY 17
4.4.1 Basic concept 17
4.4.2 Technologies 18
4.5 FIXED NETWORK 19
4.5.1 Basic concept 19
4.5.2 Network topologies 19
4.5.3 Technologies 21
4.6 HYBRID SYSTEMS 22
5 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES 23
5.1 GENERAL 23
5.2 PROPRIETARY WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES 23
5.2.1 Wavenis 23
5.2.2 Plextek (UNB) 24
5.2.3 Everblu 25
5.3 OPEN STANDARD WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES 26
5.3.1 IEEE 802.15.1 (Bluetooth) 26
5.3.2 IEEE 802.15.4 (WPAN) 27
5.3.2.1 PHY and MAC 27
5.3.2.2 ZigBee 28
5.3.2.3 6loWPAN 30
5.3.3 IEEE 802.11 (WLAN/WiFi) 31
5.3.4 IEEE 802.16 (WiMAX) 33
5.3.5 2G/2.5G GSM/GPRS/EDGE 34
5.3.6 3G UMTS 36
5.3.7 LTE 36
5.3.8 PMR (TETRA, TETRAPOL) 36
5.3.9 2-way radio paging (ERMES, ReFLEX) 37
5.3.10 European Radio Ripple control 38
5.3.11 Satellite systems 39

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6 WIRE-LINE TECHNOLOGIES 40
6.1 DATA OVER PSTN 40
6.2 XDSL 40
6.3 FTTB, FTTH 41
6.4 M-BUS 41
7 POWERLINE COMMUNICATIONS (PLC) 44
7.1 GENERAL 44
7.2 NON-STANDARDISED NARROWBAND PLC TECHNOLOGIES 44
7.2.1 Echelon and others 44
7.2.2 PRIME 45
7.2.3 Telegestore -DLC 46
7.2.4 ZIV 46
7.3 OPEN NARROWBAND PLC TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS 46
7.3.1 IEC 61334-5-1 S-FSK 46
7.3.2 IEC 61334-5-2 46
7.3.3 IEC61334-5-4 46
7.3.4 CENELEC EN50090 (KNX – PL) 47
7.4 NON-STANDARDISED BROADBAND PLC (BPL) TECHNOLOGIES 47
7.4.1 Homeplug 47
7.4.2 Panasonic 48
7.4.3 OPERA/UPA (DS2) 48
7.5 OPEN BROADBAND PLC TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS 49
7.5.1 IEEE P1901 49
7.5.2 ITU-T G.hn 50
8 DATA/APPLICATION MODELS 51
8.1 GENERAL 51
8.2 PROPRIETARY DATA/APPLICATION MODELS 51
8.3 OPEN DATA/APPLICATION MODELS STANDARDS 51
8.3.1 IEC 62056-61/62 COSEM 51
9 SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS 52
10 COPYRIGHT 54
11 APPENDIX 55
11.1 M-BUS STANDARD 55
11.1.1 The relevant standards 55
11.1.2 The EN 13757-1 standard 56
11.1.3 M-Bus System architecture 57
11.1.4 EN 13757-2: The physical and the link layer of the wired (twisted pair) M-Bus
profile 58
11.1.5 EN 13757-4: The physical and the link layer of the wireless M-Bus profile 58
11.1.6 EN 13757-5: M-Bus wireless relaying 59
11.1.7 EN 13757-6: The physical layer for local bus 59
11.1.8 EN 13757-3: The M-Bus dedicated Application layer 59
11.1.9 Data security 60
11.1.10 Data exchange between devices using DLMS/COSEM and M-Bus: the Dutch
project 60
11.1.11 Evolution of M-Bus in the German OMS specification 61
12 COPYRIGHT 62

Project Funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme Project coordinated by
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OPEN meter Type of document: Deliverable
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Title: D2.1 part 1 Version:3.0 Page: 6 / 62

Project Funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme Project coordinated by
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OPEN meter Type of document: Deliverable
Open Public Extended Network metering
Date: 24.06.09
Energy Theme; Grant Agreement No 226369
Title: D2.1 part 1 Version:3.0 Page: 7 / 62

LIST OF TABLES
Table 5-1: WLAN IEEE 802.11 standards overview ............................................................ 32 
TU UT

Table 5-2: Frequency ranges foreseen for WiMAX .............................................................. 34 


TU UT

Table 5-3: 2G/2.5G GSM data services and user data rate ................................................. 35 
TU UT

Table 5-4: Frequency bands allocated for TETRA in Europe .............................................. 37 
TU UT

Table 7-1: PRIME PHY data rates for the different transmission modes ............................. 45 
TU UT

Table 11-1: Interfaces and protocols in EN 13757-1 ........................................................... 56 


TU UT

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 4-1: Generic concept and architecture of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure....... 14 
TU UT

Figure 4-2: Walk-by concept ................................................................................................ 16 


TU UT

Figure 4-3: Drive-by concept ................................................................................................ 18 


TU UT

Figure 4-4: Fixed network concept ....................................................................................... 19 


TU UT

Figure 4-5: Star network topology ........................................................................................ 20 


TU UT

Figure 4-6: Tree network topology ....................................................................................... 21 


TU UT

Figure 4-7: Mesh network topology ...................................................................................... 21 


TU UT

Figure 5-1: Example of a PLEXTEK's radio communication network topology.................... 24 


TU UT

Figure 5-2: ZigBee communication stack .............................................................................. 29 


TU UT

Figure 5-3: ZigBee over IPv6 ............................................................................................... 31 


TU UT

Figure 5-4: AMR using WLAN access network .................................................................... 33 


TU UT

Figure 11-1: M-Bus wired infrastructure – example .............................................................. 57 


TU UT

Figure 11-2: M-Bus wireless infrastructure – example with T1 or T2 mode ......................... 57 
TU UT

Project Funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme Project coordinated by
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OPEN meter Type of document: Deliverable
Open Public Extended Network metering
Date: 24.06.09
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Title: D2.1 part 1 Version:3.0 Page: 8 / 62

GLOSSARY AND ACRONYMS

ADSL Asymmetric DSL


AES Advanced Encryption Standard
AMI Advanced Metering Infrastructure
AMM Automated Meter Management
AMR Automated Meter Reading
ANSI American National Standards Institute
AVL Automatic Vehicle Location
BPL Broadband Power Line
BPSK Binary Phase Shift Keying
CAPEX Capital Expenditure
CCK Complementary Code Keying
CDMA Code Division Multiple Access
CEN Comité Européen de Normalisation
CENELEC Comité Européen de Normalisation Electrotechnique
CEPCA Consumer Electronics Powerline Communications Alliance
COSEM Companion Specification for Energy Metering
CSD Circuit Switched Data
CSMA/CA Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance
D-Bus Dialogue-Bus
DCSK Differential Code Shift Keying
DFS Dynamic Frequency Selection
DL Down-Link
DLMS Device Language Message Specification
DPSK Differential Phase Shift Keying
DSL Digital Subscriber Line
DSLAM DSL Access Multiplexer
DSM Demand Side Management
DSMR Dutch Smart Metering Requirements
DSSS Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum
EDGE Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution
EIA Electronic Industries Alliance
EN European Norm
ETSI European Telecommunications Institute
FDD Frequency Division Duplex
FEC Forward Error Correction
FSK Frequency Shift Keying
FTTB Fibre To The Building
FTTC Fibre To The Curb
FTTH Fibre To The Home
FTTP Fibre To The Premsises
GEO GEostationary Orbit
GPRS Generalized Packet Radio service
GPS Global Positioning System
GSM Global System Mobile
HAN Home Area Network
HD-PLC High Definition PLC
HFC Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial

Project Funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme Project coordinated by
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HSCSD High Speed Circuit Switched Data


HSDPA High Speed Data Packet Access
HSUPA High Speed Uplink Packet Access
IEC International Electrotechnical Commission
H H

IEEE Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineering


ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
IP Internet Protocol
ISM Industrial, Scientific, and Medical
ISO International Organisation for Standardisation
ITU-T International Telecommunications Union - Telecommunications
kbps Kilo-bit per second
LAN Local Area Network
LEO Low Earth Orbit
LOS Line-od-Sight
LTE Long Term Evolution
LV Low Voltage
MAC Medium Access Control
Mbps Mega bit per second
M-Bus Meter-Bus
MDM Meter Data Management
MIMO Multiple Input Multiple Output
MV Medium Voltage
NFC Near Field Communication
NLOS Non-Line-of-Sight
OBIS OBject Identification System
OFDM Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex
OPERA Open PLC European Research Alliance
OPEN meter Open Public Extended Network metering
OPEX Operational Expenditure
OSI Open Systems Interconnection
PAMR Public Access Mobile Radio
PAN Personal Area Network
PHY PHYsical Layer
PLC Power Line Communication
PMR Private Mobile Radio
POTS Plain Old Telephone Service
PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network
PWLAN Public WLAN
QAM Quadrature Amplitude Modulation
QoS Quality of Service
QPSK Quarternary (Quadrature) Phase Shift Keying
RAN Radio Access Network
RF Radio Frequency
RFID Radio Frequency Identification
SAE System Architecture Evaluation
SCADA Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
S-FSK Spaced Frequeny Shift Keying
SMS Short Message Service
SRD Short Range Device

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TCP Transmission Control Protocol


TDD Time Division Duplex
TDMA Time Division Multiple Access
TE Terminal Equipment
TETRA TErrestrial Trunked Radio
TIA Telecommunications Industry Association
UDP User Datagram Protocol
UHF Ultra High Frequency
UL Up-Link
UMTS Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
UNB Ultra Narrow Band
UPA Universal Powerline Association
VDSL Very high speed DSL
VHF Very High Frequency
VLF Very Low Frequency
VoIP Voice over IP
WCDMA Wideband CDMA
WDS Wireless Distribution System
WICA Wireless Internet Compatibility Alliance
WiFi Wireless Fidelity
WiMAX Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access
WLAN Wireless Local Area Network
WPA Wi-Fi Protected Access
WPAN Wireless Personal Area Network
xDSL See DSL
2G 2nd Generation
P P

3G 3rd Generation
P P

3GPP 3rd Generation Partnership Project


P P

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1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE


This document is Part 1 of deliverable D2.1 entitled ‘State-of-the-art technologies &
protocols’ elaborated within OPENmeter WP2 ‘Identification of Knowledge and Technology
Gaps’

D2.1/Part 1 is the outcome of task 2.1.0 and provides a general and brief overview of the
state-of-the-art and the possible technological alternatives for an Advanced Metering
Infrastructure (AMI).

The scope of this document encompasses concepts, architectures, and state-of-the art wired
and wireless communications technologies, protocols and data models applicable to
Automatic Meter Reading as part of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure that may in turn be
subsystem of a future holistic energy, water and customer services supply infrastructure.

Part 1 provides a selection of communications technologies that have initially been proposed
by WP2 partners and that have been considered potentially interesting for AMR. These
technologies are briefly described and discussed (major PROs and CONs). It shall however U

be noticed that only a subset of these technologies/protocols is further considered in more


U U

detail in the other parts of D2.1. It is again a reduced subset that is finally assessed in D2.2
with respect to general requirements set forth by WP1 in D1.1 and additional requirements
identified in T2.2. Part 1 does not intend to prejudice any technology and to reduce the set of
U

technologies. This is considered subject of other T2.1 subtasks.

Part 1 does not particularly emphasise communications protocols and protocol standards.
Only a few are addressed. A selection of potentially interesting communications protocols
and data structures is provided in D2.1. Part 4.

Part 1 differentiates from other D2.1 parts in the sense that it only provides an overview on
state-of-the-art of AMR and a cursory description of communication technologies. The list of
communications technologies however is considered exhaustive and will not be extended
neither in other D2.1 parts nor in the D2.2 deliverable report.

This document does not consider business aspects such as special billing and payment
concepts, payment meters, etc.

Conclusions made in this part 1 report should be considered as preliminary and indicative.
Final conclusions will follow after more thorough assessment which is subject of other parts
of the D2.1 deliverable.

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2 INTRODUCTION
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) refers to systems that measure, collect and analyse
energy and water usage, from devices such as electricity meters, gas meters, and water
HT TH HT TH HT

meters, respectively, through various communication media on request or on a pre-defined


TH

schedule. AMI may also include end user/customer associated systems and meter data HT

management (MDM) and it allows collection and distribution of information to customers,


TH

suppliers, utility companies and service providers. In an AMI, the data collected can be
HT TH

captured, stored, and forwarded to a central computer. This can include events and alarms
such as tamper, leak detection, low battery, or reverse flow.

AMI can be differentiated from traditional Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and Automatic
HT TH

Meter Management (AMM) in that the latter may be considered subsystems of an AMI, in the
way communications takes place, and in the complexity of networks and protocols.
Moreover, AMI aims at an open system with a connection to the HAN.

AMR is a technology which automatically collects data from metering devices like water, gas,
heat, electricity and transfers these data to a central database for analysis and billing
purposes. Many AMR devices can also do data logging. The logged data can be used for
water or energy use profiling, time of use billing, demand forecasting, demand side
management (DSM), rate of flow recording, leak detection, flow monitoring, etc.

AMM allows control or influence energy consumption of customers through automatic


reading of meters within fine time intervals in order to realise price elastic energy or water
consumption or demand response.

A HAN is a network contained within a user's premises that interconnects home IT and
H H

entertainment devices and their peripherals as well as home security systems, and "smart"
H H

appliances such as lighting, heating, cooling, etc.

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3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Smart grid applications , automated metering and provisioning of end-user services to
customer premises is considered part of a future open Advanced Metering Infrastructure
(AMI).

In chapter 4 an overview on state-of-the-art meter reading is provided, starting with the


generic concepts and architectures of an AMI as well as definition of terminology. Then,
state-of-the-art meter reading concepts and architectures (walk-by, drive-by, fixed networks)
are reviewed mainly in regards to the various communications technologies that have
commonly been employed in present metering systems.

In chapters 5, 6, and 7, a selection of state-of-the-art communications


technologies/standards that are potentially interesting for an AMI are briefly reviewed and
discussed (PROs and CONs), starting with wireless technologies followed by wire-line
technologies and powerline (PLC).

Chapter 8 is devoted to proprietary and open data applications models such as IEC 62056-
61/62 COSEM.

Finally, Chapter 9 summarises some preliminary conclusions.

More detailed information on the M-bus standard is provided in an Appendix to this


deliverable report.

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4 STATE-OF-THE-ART METER READING

4.1 General concept of an AMI


Figure 4-1 displays the generic concept and architecture of an Advanced Metering
Infrastructure that may be subdivided into three segments:
• The local network segment
• The access network segment
• The back-haul network segment
The local network connects AMI-enabled meters belonging to the same entity (home,
U U

building, facility) as well as end-user applications (HAN) to a node acting as a local data
collector and gateway between access and local network.

The access network comprises the networks between house gateway and a hub/data
U U

concentrator or the data management center ic case there is no data concentrator, whilst the
term back-haul network is used to designate the final segment between Hub/data
U U

concentrator and the data & management center for utility services and customer-related
services.

In some cases there may be no dedicated hub/data concentrator e.g. if public access
networks are used.

Meters End user


Gas Water Heat Electr. applications
(HAN)

Local
network Data & management
Data center
colector/
house
Access
gateway
network

Backhaul
Hub/Data network
concentrator
Access
network

Figure 4-1: Generic concept and architecture of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure

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4.2 Local network


4.2.1 Basic concept
To collect metering data from AMI-enabled meters belonging to the same entity (facility,
building) and to enable energy-related end-user applications (HAN) a local network is
typically installed using wired or wireless communications technologies.

4.2.2 Technologies

The following communications technologies can typically be found in a local network:

• Euridis bus (IEC 62056-31 standard) over twisted pair


U U

• M-bus (Meter bus), (EN13757 Series standard) over twisted pair or radio
U U

• D-bus (Dialogue bus) for large facilities


U U

• Ibus EIB (ABB)


U U

• RS-485 over twisted pair with standard or proprietary protocols


U U

• Echelon LONworks (ANSI/CEA-709.1) over proprietary (non-open standard)


U U

Powerline carrier, twisted pair, or radio

• Ethernet
U U

4.3 Walk-by
4.3.1 Basic concept

In walk-by AMR (ref. Figure 4-2), a meter reader carries a handheld computer with either a
built-in or attached RF transceiver or an RFID-like reader (wireless or contactless touch
based solution) or a wired connection (twisted pair) to interrogate and collect meter readings
from an AMR capable meter. This is sometimes also referred to as handheld or on-site
meter reading since the meter reader walks by the locations where meters are installed as
he/she goes through their meter reading route.

The handheld collected data stored in the handheld unit is then typically brought to the
readers local office where the data is readout, post-processed and finally transferred to the
billing center via public networks. Alternatively, using a 2G/3G-enabled handheld, reading
data is directly transmitted to the billing center via cellular networks. This may happen
immediately or delayed if there was no coverage e.g. in the basement of a house.

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The walk-by concept has been and is still widely used in cities and densely populated
residential areas where walking distances are limited.

Using RF technologies that provide sufficient distance, the reader does not need to enter the
premises. UHF low power radio technologies operating in the 433/868 MHz ISM-bands, 2.4
GHz Bluetooth, wireless M-Bus or ZigBee are appropriate standards to interrogate meters
over a distance of several or several tens of meters.

In some areas and newer houses, meters are often linked together using twisted pair lines
and a suitable field bus standard (local network). These systems provide then a single
inductive coupler or similar device per house in the public domain where meters can be
interrogated faster and more economically on the touch basis (e.g. EURIDIS).

With touch-based meter reading, a meter reader carries a handheld computer or data
collection device with a wand or probe. The device automatically collects the readings from
the meters by touching or placing the read probe in close proximity to a reading coil
enclosed in the touchpad. When a button is pressed, the probe sends an interrogate signal
to the touch module to collect the meter readings. The software in the reading device
matches the serial number to one in the route database, and saves the meter reading for
later download to a billing or data collection computer.

In the past, the touch concept has brought some benefits as it involved regular inspection of
status and conditions of electrical installations and meters and thus increasing the likelihood
of detecting fraud (e.g. meter tampering). In a modern AMI smart grid concept where energy
flow is measured at different network levels and consistency is checked, this side effect may
become less important but still not obsolete.

Meters Billing center


Gas Water Heat Electr.
Cellular
networks
Local
network
Data
colector/
house Walk-by
Public fixed
gateway interrogator &
networks
data collector
Short range
radio link
(UHF,
Bluetooth,
RFID)

Figure 4-2: Walk-by concept

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4.3.2 Technologies

For handheld walk-by meter reading the following technologies/standards are commonly
employed:

• Bluetooth based on IEEE 802.15.1 (WPAN) operating in the 2.4 GHz using frequency
U U

hopping technique.

• ZigBee based on IEEE 802.15.4 MAC & PHY operating in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz.
U U

• Proprietary or industrial radio standards operating in the UHF ISM band (433 MHz or
U U

868 MHz in Europe, 915 MHz in North America) e.g. frequency hopping-based long
range UHF RFID (Wavenis).

Transmit power can be in the mW range.

For touch-based or close proximity walk-by meter reading the following technologies are
used:

• M-bus (Meter bus), (EN13757 Series standard) over twisted pair or radio
U U

• standard RFID technologies e.g. inductive 135 kHz or 13.56 MHz.


U U

• Inductive coupler in conjunction with IEC 62056-31 EURIDIS


U U

• Infrared
U

To send meter readings/data to the billing center the following communications


technologies/standards are commonly used:

• 2G/2.5 G GSM/GPRS/EDGE, 3G UMTS for immediate transmission using mobile-


U U

enabled handheld

• PSTN analogue modem, xDSL for transmission from readers local office
U U

4.4 Drive-by
4.4.1 Basic concept

Mobile or "Drive-by" meter reading (ref. Figure 4-3) is a concept where a reading or
interrogating device is installed in a vehicle. The meter reader drives the vehicle while the
interrogating device automatically collects the meter readings. Often for drive-by meter
reading the reading equipment includes navigational and mapping features supported by
GPS and mapping software. With mobile meter reading, the reader does not normally have
to read the meters in any particular route order, but just drives the service area until all
meters are read.

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In principle, meter readings/data can be directly forwarded to the billing center via public
cellular networks or private utility networks if available.
This concept has been widely used in less densely populated areas where walk-by isn’t an
economical solution. Drive-by is quite popular in US but there is only limited use in EU.
Components often consist of a vehicular roof-top mounted antenna, a transceiver, a laptop
and a software, RF receiver/transceiver, and external vehicle antennas.

Meters Billing center


GPS
Gas Water Heat Electr

Local
network
Data
colector/
house Cellular
gateway networks
UHF radio link

Drive-by interrogator & data collector

Figure 4-3: Drive-by concept

4.4.2 Technologies

For drive-by meter reading the following wireless technologies/standards are commonly
employed:

• ZigBee based on IEEE 802.15.4 MAC & PHY operating in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz
U U

• Proprietary or industrial radio standards (e.g. ZigBit 900) operating in the UHF ISM
U U

banda (433 MHz or 868 MHz in Europe, 915 MHz in North America) or frequency-
hopping-based long range UHF RFID (Wavenis).

Transmit power may be in the order of 10 mW.

To wirelessly forward meter readings/data to a central computer (billing center) the following
communications technologies/standards are commonly used:

• 2G/2.5G GSM/GPRS/EDGE
U U

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• 3G UMTS
U U

For navigation and positioning:

• GPS
U

4.5 Fixed network


4.5.1 Basic concept

Networks that are permanently installed to automatically capture meter readings are
commonly referred to as Fixed Networks. Fixed Networks consist of a permanently installed
U U

infrastructure to collect meter readings/data from AMR capable meters and to transfer these
data to a central computer without a person in the field to collect them.

In general, a fixed network infrastructure can be subdivided into an access and a back-haul
or core segment (ref. Figure 4-4). A fixed network infrastructure may be 100% public e.g.
cellular mobile or heterogeneous e.g. private network for access and public network for
back-hauling. Various wireless or wired technologies may be used in each segment
depending on available infrastructure and suitability.

Meters
Gas Water Heat Electr Data & management
center of energy related
Local
services
network

Data
collector/ Wireless
House access NW
gateway Backhaul
Hub/Data network
concentrator
Wired
Access
network

Figure 4-4: Fixed network concept

4.5.2 Network topologies

Different network topologies have been used in the access domain of Fixed Networks to
forward meter readings/data to a central computer. A star network is the most common,
HTU UTH

where a meter transmits its data directly to a hub/data concentrator (ref. Figure 4-5).

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Some systems use a tree network topology with repeater nodes that forward data received
U U

from meter nodes to the next higher network hierarchy level (ref. Figure 4-6). Meter nodes
may be promoted to repeater nodes to extend coverage of an AMR network. This
assignment may be on a static or dynamic basis. Moreover, concentrator nodes may also
take the role of repeaters (store and forward) in case there is no back-haul connectivity. In
any case there is no communication between the nodes of the same hierarchy level in a tree
network. The tree topology is particularly suitable in conjunction with powerline
communications and to increase reliability of a system.

More advanced solutions use mesh network principles, but mainly in conjunction with
U U

wireless technologies. A mesh approach may reduce infrastructure costs, but may add
significant complexity to the meter/house gateway, possibly increasing cost and power
consumption. One issue in this context are battery operated meters. These may need more
power due to the increased frequency of transmission. However, these disadvantages may
be outweighed by savings in infrastructure. Mesh topologies with their self healing capability
are potentially resilient against link failures thus more reliable since they can dynamically
reroute data via any node in a manner that is more flexible than e.g. by reconfiguring a tree
network.

Hub/Data
concentrator

Meter node
House gateway

Figure 4-5: Star network topology

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Hub/Data
concentrator
Repeater node

Hierarchy level 0

meter repeater node


(Hierarchy level 1)

meter node/house
gateway
(Hierarchy level 2)

Figure 4-6: Tree network topology

Hub/Data Hub/Data
concentrator concentrator

Meter node/
house gateway

Figure 4-7: Mesh network topology

4.5.3 Technologies

In the access network segment the following technologies are commonly used

• ZigBee based on IEEE 802.15.4 MAC & PHY operating in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz
U U

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• WiFi/PWLAN based on IEEE 802.11 operating in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band
U U

• Proprietary or industrial radio standards e.g. operating in the VHF or UHF ISM bands
U U

(174 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz) e.g. Plextek so-called Ultra Narrow Band (UNB)
telemetry based on low data rate frequency hopping techniques.

• Public cellular, 2G GSM/GPRS


U U

• Proprietary or industrial standard powerline communications like solutions based on


U U

Echelon LONworks (ANSI/EIA-709) or Intellon/homePlug, etc.

• Analogue modem standards over PSTN or xDSL


U U

For back-hauling following technologies are commonly in use:

• Public cellular networks (2G GSM/GPRS, 3G UMTS)


U

• Cellular core network technologies (if access segment is based on public cellular)
U

• Proprietary or industrial standard powerline communications solutions over MV


U U

• Microwave links
U

• WiMAX IEEE 802.16


U

• Analogue modem standards over PSTN or xDSL


U U

4.6 Hybrid systems


Some fixed network systems are also capable of being installed as a hybrid system. In a U U

hybrid system a part of the meters are read by fixed network, and the other parts may be
read by drive-by. A fixed network may not be justified in certain service areas. So they may
be used only in densely populated zones or for commercial accounts.

Some hybrid networks also allow meter reading by different methods concurrently to provide
redundancy. In the event of a network failure, a mobile reading system will likely be available
as a back-up means to data collection via fixed network.

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5 WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES

5.1 General
Wireless communications solutions in fixed networks are always attractive, since they do not
require new wiring. This is particularly true if a wireless network infrastructure that already
exists could be used e.g. public mobile network, municipal WiFi or WiMAx networks, etc. On
the other hand, solid buildings with concrete walls, together with the installation of meters
predominantly in basements- which is typical for European countries - are obstacles for
radio-based metering solutions. In these cases, additional equipment e.g. house
gateway/repeaters installed at more favourable places become necessary. Therefore,
wireless metering solutions so far have been mainly successful in countries like the USA,
where houses typically are built less solid and without basements.

Technologies that can use existing wiring such as PLC do not require new wiring either but
may need some non-negligible investments in infrastructure equipment in both access and
back-haul segment as such systems normally do not exist yet.

5.2 Proprietary wireless technologies


5.2.1 Wavenis

Wavenis Wireless Technology is a 2-way wireless system designed to operate in UHF ISM
bands . The main features of Wavenis technology are:

• Low data rate communications in the range from 4.8 kbps to 100 kbps (19.2 kbps
typical) meeting requirements for metering applications

• Device radio transceivers with ultra-low-power consumption in devices (meters) to


reach multi-year operation with battery-powered devices

• high link budget to attain large radio reach and in-house signal penetration.

The Wavenis protocol defines the 3 lowest layers of the OSI reference model.

The specified physical layer provides worldwide use by operating in major license-free ISM
bands, and complies with following regulatory standards:

• 868 MHz (EU EN300-220)

• 915 MHz (US FCC15-247, 15-249)

• 433 MHz (Asia)

• 2400 MHz (worldwide)

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The data link and network layers provide a reliable communication for a consistent M2M
communication:

• Point-to-Point, Point-to-Multipoint (broadcast, polling), and repeater modes

• Tree, star, and mesh network topologies

• self-configuration and dynamic routing algorithm optimised for Ultra Low Power
networks

Current applications for the Wavenis technology are Telemetry, industrial Automation,
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Automatic meter reading (AMR) utility meter
monitoring, home comfort, alarms for protecting people and property, home healthcare,
centralized building management, etc.

Wavenis was originally a proprietary technology created by Coronis Systems in 2001. In


2008 Coronis opened the technology and offered it up to the market for industry
standardization. The Wavenis Open Standard Alliance, Wavenis-OSA, was created to
manage and govern the technology in much the same way the Bluetooth SIG manages and
drives Bluetooth technology.

5.2.2 Plextek (UNB)

Plextek is a low cost radio solution for wide area telemetry, automatic meter reading, control
and data monitoring applications with modest data rate requirements. Plextek is based on a
proprietary Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) technology with additional frequency hopping and
proprietary digital signal processing techniques to enhance receiver’s sensitivity in the
presence of interference as typical in licence free bands. The system operates in the
868MHz or 915MHz ISM frequency bands.

As far as the communication protocol is concerned, the Plextek radio protocol includes
forward error correction, error detection, automatic retransmissions, power control, automatic
base station selection and all signalling to setup and maintain data connections.

Figure 5-1: Example of a PLEXTEK's radio communication network topology

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The key system characteristics are:

• Low cost outstation equipment

• Point-to-multipoint architecture

• Short range (100m) ‘relay mode’ which enables one outstation to relay information
from another.

• 2 - 20km typical cell radius depending on antenna heights and propagation


environment.

• Can Handle large numbers of outstations (typically 5,000 - 10,000) per hub (base
station). Actual number of outstations depends upon the data transmission volumes.

• Complete system including full radio protocol, data logging facilities, broad range of
standard interfaces and protocols for hub communications. Suitable for direct
connection of hubs to the Internet.

5.2.3 Everblu

EverBlu is a radio-based AMR system using a wireless mesh point-to-multipoint


communication infrastructure. It is an ultra-low-power, bi-frequency, long-range (300m),
wireless mesh technology. EverBlu operates in license-free bands e.g. 433/868 MHz in
Europe with a transmit power of 200 mW.

The network layer of EverBlu originates from the former Radian protocol defined by an
European user association. EverBlue endpoints can be read in dual mode either using
EverBlu fixed network or walk-by collection system compatible with Radian protocol.

EverBlu is suitable for multi-energy applications involving water, gas electricity and heat
metering. As it is a long-range mesh radio network, it is convenient for urban, suburban or
rural environments. EverBlu endpoints can be read in dual mode either using EverBlu fixed
network or walk-by collection systems that are compatible with the Radian protocol.

About 1 million EverBlu radio modules for water, gas and heat meters have been installed
worldwide with major installations in France, UK, Italy, Australia.
Typically, EverBlu gateways (base stations) are backhauled via public mobile networks (e.g.
GPRS). Using one gateway for up to 1200 endpoints limits the infrastructure investment and
significantly reduces the operation costs related with communication fees over GPRS.

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5.3 Open standard wireless technologies


5.3.1 IEEE 802.15.1 (Bluetooth)

Bluetooth is an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances from fixed
and mobile devices, creating personal area networks (PANs). It was originally conceived as
a wireless alternative to RS232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming
problems of synchronization.

The Bluetooth standard and communications protocol was primarily designed for low power
consumption, with a short range (power-class-dependent: 1 meter (Class 1), 10 meters
(Class 2), 100 meters (Class 3)) based on low-cost transceiver microchips in each device.
Bluetooth makes it possible for these devices to communicate with each other when they are
in range. Because the devices use a radio (broadcast) communications system, they do not
have to be in line-of-sight of each other.

The original Bluetooth specification, the Bluetooth v1, which was ratified later on as IEEE
802.15.1 standard, was developed in 1994. From this date, several enhancements to this
standard have been done. Currently in Bluetooth v 2.1, fully backward compatible with the
oldest versions; the main features are the following:

• Extended inquiry response: provides more information during the inquiry procedure to
allow better filtering of devices before connection. This information includes the name
of the device, a list of services the device supports, plus other information like the
time of day and pairing information.

• Sniff subrating: reduces the power consumption when devices are in the sniff low-
power mode, especially on links with asymmetric data flows.

• Encryption Pause Resume & Secure Simple Pairing: enables an encryption key to be
refreshed, enabling much stronger encryption for connections that stay up for longer.
The Secure Simple Pairing radically improves the pairing experience for Bluetooth
devices, while increasing the use and strength of security

• Near Field Communication (NFC) cooperation: automatic creation of secure


Bluetooth connections when NFC radio interface is also available. This functionality
is part of the Secure Simple Pairing where NFC is one way of exchanging pairing
information.

The more prevalent applications of Bluetooth include:

• Wireless control of and communication between a mobile phone and a hands-free


headset. This was one of the earliest applications to become popular.

• Wireless networking between PCs in a confined space and where little bandwidth is
required.

• Wireless communication with PC input and output devices, the most common being
the mouse, keyboard and printer.

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• Transfer of files, contact details, calendar appointments, and reminders between


devices with OBEX.

• Replacement of traditional wired serial communications in test equipment, GPS


receivers, medical equipment, bar code scanners, and traffic control devices.

5.3.2 IEEE 802.15.4 (WPAN)

5.3.2.1 PHY and MAC

IEEE 802.15.4 is a standard which specifies the physical layer and media access control
(MAC) layer for low-rate wireless personal area networks (LR-WPANs). It is maintained by
the IEEE 802.15 working group.

This standard intends to offer the fundamental lower network layers of a type of wireless
personal area network (WPAN), which focuses on low-cost, low-speed ubiquitous
communication between devices (in contrast with other, more end user-oriented approaches,
such as Wi-Fi). The emphasis is on very low cost communication of nearby devices with little
to no underlying infrastructure, intending to exploit this to lower power consumption even
more.

The basic framework conceives a 10 to 75 meter communications area with a transfer rate of
250 kbps. Tradeoffs are possible to favour more radically embedded devices with even lower
power requirements, through the definition of not one, but several physical layers. Lower
transfer rates of 20, 40 and 100 kbps are defined in the standard as well.

The IEEE 802.15.4 standard operates on one of three possible unlicensed frequency bands:

• 868-868.8 MHz: Europe, allows one communication channel

• 902-928 MHz: North America, up to thirty channels

• 2400-2483.5 MHz: worldwide use, up to sixteen channels

Important features ofIEEE 802.15.4 include real-time suitability by reservation of guaranteed


time slots, collision avoidance through CSMA/CA and integrated support for secure
communications. Devices also include power management functions.

Networks can be built as either peer-to-peer (point-to-point) or star networks:

• Peer-to-peer networks can form arbitrary patterns of connections, and their extension
is only limited by the distance between each pair of nodes. They are meant to serve
as the basis for ad hoc networks capable of performing self-management and
organization

• A more structured star pattern is also supported, where a network coordinator


isassigned and plays the role of the central node.

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Since the standard does not define a network layer, routing is not directly supported, but
such an additional layer can add support for multi-hop communications. The network
topology can be extended as a generic mesh network.

Regarding secure communications, the Medium Access Control (MAC) sublayer offers
facilities that can be harnessed by upper layers to achieve the desired level of security.
Higher-layer processes may specify keys to perform symmetric cryptography to protect the
payload and restrict it to a group of devices or just a point-to-point link; these groups of
devices can be specified in access control lists.

Finally, indicate that the IEEE 802.15.4 is the basis for such upper layer specifications as
ZigBee, 6loWPAN, WirelessHART or MiWi. These specifications attempt to offer a complete
networking solution by developing the upper layers that are not covered by the IEEE
802.15.4 standard.

5.3.2.2 ZigBee

ZigBee standards-based protocols that provide the network infrastructure required for
wireless sensor network applications. ZigBee is the communications protocol (network and
applications layer) that is based on IEE 802.15.4 MAC and PHY layers.

ZigBee mesh networks are ideal for some metering applications because of their inherent
redundancy, self-configuring and self-healing capabilities. The interoperable nature of
ZigBee means that different applications can work together. This feature is however not
unique to ZigBee.

The ZigBee specification provides a low-cost, low-power, wireless mesh networking


technology. The low cost allows this technology to be widely deployed in wireless control
and monitoring applications, the low power-usage allows longer life with smaller batteries,
and the mesh networking provides high reliability and larger range.

ZigBee is a specification for a suite of high level communication protocols using small, low-
power digital radios based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard for wireless personal area
networks (WPANs). ZigBee devices are required to conform to the IEEE 802.15.4, which
specifies the lower protocol layers—the physical layer (PHY), and the medium access
control (MAC) portion of the data link layer (DLL)

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Figure 5-2: ZigBee communication stack

Therefore, the ZigBee specification focuses only on upper layers: starting from the network
layer to the final application layer, including the application objects themselves.

The responsibilities of the ZigBee network layer include:

• Starting a network: The ability to successfully establish a new network.

• Joining and leaving a network: The ability to gain membership (join) or relinquish
membership (leave) a network.

• Configuring a new device: The ability to sufficiently configure the stack for operation
as required.

• Addressing: The ability of a ZigBee coordinator to assign addresses to devices


joining the network.

• Synchronization within a network: The ability for a device to achieve synchronization


with another device either through tracking beacons or by polling.

• Security: applying security to outgoing frames and removing security to terminating


frames. For this purpose, the network layer also makes use of the Advanced
Encryption Standard (AES) and the security suites are all based on the CCM mode of
operation.

• Routing: routing frames to their intended destinations.

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The ZigBee application layer consists of the Application Support sub-layer (APS), the ZigBee
Device Object (ZDO) and the manufacturer-defined application objects.

The responsibilities of the APS sub-layer include maintaining tables for binding, which is the
ability to match two devices together based on their services and their needs, and forwarding
messages between bound devices. Another responsibility of the APS sub-layer is discovery,
which is the ability to determine which other devices are operating in the personal operating
space of a device.

The responsibilities of the ZDO include defining the role of the device within the network
(e.g., ZigBee coordinator or end device), initiating and/or responding to binding requests and
establishing a secure relationship between network devices. The manufacturer-defined
application objects implement the actual applications according to the ZigBee-defined
application descriptions

Depending on the implemented ZDO and manufacturer-defined applications, several


application profiles can be defined. At the current state, the list of application profiles either
published or in the works are:

• Home Entertainment and Control — Smart lighting, advanced temperature control,


safety and security, movies and music

• Home Awareness — Water sensors, power sensors, smoke and fire detectors, smart
appliances and access sensors

• Mobile Services — m-payment, m-monitoring and control, m-security and access


control, m-healthcare and tele-assist

• Commercial Building — Energy monitoring, HVAC, lighting, access control

• Smart Metering

5.3.2.3 6loWPAN

6loWPAN is an acronym of IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks.
6LoWPAN is the standard from the Internet Engineer Task Force IETF published in 2007,
which optimises IPv6 for use with low-power, low-bandwidth communication technologies
such as the IEEE 802.15.4.

The 6loWPAN group aimed at defining header compression mechanisms that allow IPv6
packets to be sent to and received from over IEEE 802.15-based networks. The base
specification developed by the 6lowpan IETF group is the RFC 4944.

Whereas IEEE802.15.4 devices are intentionally constrained to reduce costs, IPv6 requires
a considerable higher bandwidth. Therefore, header compression mechanisms standardized
in RFC4944 can be used to provide header compression of IPv6 packets over such
networks. Furthermore, RFC 4944 proposes an adaptation layer to allow the transmission of
IPv6 datagrams over IEEE 802.15.4 networks. Moreover, since the compression is
completely stateless, it means that it creates no binding state between the compressor-

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decompressor pair. Stateless compression gives nodes the flexibility to communicate with
any neighbour in compact form at all times.

6loWPAN brings the advantages already described in the IEEE 802.15.4 standard: offer the
fundamental lower network layers of a type of wireless personal area network (WPAN),
which focuses on low-cost, low-speed ubiquitous communication between devices; and the
IP protocol advantages which has proven itself a long-lived, stable, and highly scalable
communication technology that supports both a wide range of applications, devices, and
underlying communication technologies.

Finally, it shall be noted that the ZigBee specification and the 6lowpan RFC are not
competing technologies but on the contrary, they can be well complementary as it can be
shown in the diagram below:

Figure 5-3: ZigBee over IPv6

Recently, the IETF has launched collaboration with the ZigBee alliance in order to approve
an IETF specification for using ZigBee profiles over UDP/IP.

5.3.3 IEEE 802.11 (WLAN/WiFi)

In the last ten years, broadband wireless technologies based on the IEEE 802.11 standard
have found broad acceptance worldwide for wireless local area networking (WLAN). These
WLAN technologies are designed to operate either in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz ISM frequency
bands.

WLAN supports services similar to those offered by wired LANs (e.g. Ethernet) and can be
used to build either stationary or mobile computer networks. Current WLAN systems provide
data rates of typically 54 Mbit/s, with vendor-specific extensions reaching up to 108 Mbit/s.
Due to channel access and signalling overhead, roughly 50% of the physical layer data rates
are available as actual user throughput.

Today, the IEEE 802.11 standard family is the most established. Its variants operate in the
ISM-band, at either 2.4 GHz providing up to 11 Mbit/s, or in the 5 GHz range offering up to
54 Mbit/s.

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WLAN equipment that is truly tested and certified by the Wireless Internet Compatibility
Alliance (WICA) in accordance to the IEEE 802.11 family of wireless LAN standards is also
known as WiFi (Wireless Fidelity).

Public WLANs (PWLAN) (WiFi hot spots) are deployed in many cities and areas as the most
important commercial use of the WLAN technology today.

IEEE Frequency Max. RF Modulation PHY data TCP UDP


Standard band power in rate Through Through
EU [Mbps] put put
[GHz] [Mbps] [Mbps]
[mW]

802.11b 2.4 200 DSSS with 11 6 7


CCK

802.11g 2.4 200 OFDM 54 24 30

802.11a 5.2/5.3/5.7 40/200/800 OFDM 54 24 30

802.11d supports specific adaptations/selection of MAC, frequencies, bandwidth, power


levels, technology (a,b,h,g) needed to operate WLAN systems globally (‘World
mode’), and particularly in regulatory domains (countries) where systems based
on standard 802.11 would not be allowed to operate.

802.11e 802.11a/b/g + advanced MAC and QoS mechanism for multi-media and VoIP
applications

802.11h 802.11a + Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and Transmit Power Control
(TPC) to allow for higher transmission power

802.11i 802.11a/b/g + new security protocol Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), includes
rules for the usage of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for data
encryption

802.11n 802.11a/b/g + MIMO techniques to increase throughput

802.11s 802.11a/b/g + support of Mesh networks, Wireless Distribution System (WDS),


Automatic/Ad-hoc routing protocols, roaming for mobility

Table 5-1: WLAN IEEE 802.11 standards overview

The use of WLANs for AMR has been frequently reported. In the US, several cities (e.g.
Santa Clara, CA) already use WLANs to automatically collect readings from electricity, gas,
and water meters. Since indoor coverage and particularly coverage in basements at
frequencies above 2 GHz is relatively poor, WLAN-based AMR solutions require either
meters mounted above ground level and outside wall of houses or an in-house wired or
wireless local network with a WLAN equipped house gateway/data collector mounted at
position well covered by an 802.11-based access network.

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Using 802.11s technology supporting mesh (e.g. MetroMesh™ from Tropos) may provide a
technically attractive solution for AMR. This is particularly true, since bandwidth needed in an
AMI is less of an issue. Nevertheless, it would take a number of years until investments pay
off. In cities or areas where there is already a public Wi-Fi network (e.g. a Metropolitan Area
Network), the WLAN-based access solution may result in a more attractive business case,
also taking into consideration that community-wide WiFi networks will become prevalent in
future in many areas.

802.11 network
(e.g. municipal PWLAN)

Mesh
Meters
Gas Water Heat Electr.

Data
collector/
house
Inhouse Local network gateway

Figure 5-4: AMR using WLAN access network

5.3.4 IEEE 802.16 (WiMAX)

WiMAX (Worldwide Inter-operability for Microwave Access) is a Wireless Broadband Access


(BWA) technology based on the IEEE 802.16 series standard. It has been designed to
provide transmission speeds up to 72 Mbit/s in both directions and supports point-to-point
and point-to-multi-point network topologies and a multitude of transmission modes and
bandwidths to adapt to the different propagation conditions and user demands.

The basic characteristics of the WiMAX air interface (IEEE 802.16e-2005) are a scalable
OFDM scheme, bandwidths ranging from 1.25 MHz to 20 MHz, adaptive coding and
modulation using BPSK, QPSK, 16-QAM or 64-QAM, multiple antenna support (MIMO
techniques), and FDD as well as TDD modes. To certain extent, WiMAX can support robust
transmissions at reduced speeds for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions and indoor
overage. Communication range typically varies between a few Kilometres in NLOS
conditions up to 50 km in LOS conditions using omni-directional antennas.

The primary purpose of WiMAX has been a wireless alternative to xDSL and other wired
local access (last mile) solutions in rural areas, suburban or urban areas. Today, in some
areas, WiMAX is also competing with 3G mobile networks providing broadband services to

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mobile or semi-mobile (nomadic) users. Clearly, the WiMAX technology is also applicable to
point-to-point line-of-sight microwave links e.g. in back-haul networks.

Concerning spectrum issues, there is no globally harmonized spectrum allocation for WiMAX
network deployments. Several frequency bands below 4 GHz are currently in use for
licensed WiMAX operation. Frequency bands for license exempt usage of WiMAX have
been granted above 5 GHz.

Frequency range Usage Remarks

500 – 800 MHz licensed Under consideration in Europe and


elsewhere, but awaiting roll-out of
digital/mobile TV

2.3 GHz – 4.0 GHz licensed Several frequency chunks already in use by
licensed operators or use under
consideration

5.0 – 5.8 GHz unlicensed Mainly for back-hauling

Table 5-2: Frequency ranges foreseen for WiMAX

Up to now, WiMAX networks have been deployed only partially in specific areas either to
compete with incumbent xDSL or cable operators or to complement broadband Internet
access in areas underserved by the latter e.g. in rural areas or Eastern Europe. In some
U.S. cities, WiMAX networks are operated by municipalities (Municipal Metropolitan Area
Networks).

Since indoor coverage at frequencies above 2 GHz is still an issue and the lower UHF bands
(ref. Table 5-2) will likely not be available in the near future, the use of WiMAX in the access
segment is not straight forward. In many cases, it would require installation of WiMAX-
enabled house gatways/data collectors or repeaters at well selected places e.g. above
ground level and directly behind outer walls or windows, similarly concepts as described in
section 5.3.3. In geographic areas where meter boxes are mounted typically outdoors, a
WiMAX-based access solution may be more attractive. It is however felt, that WiMAX is
more suitable e.g. as back-haul technology e.g. in conjunction with a meshed WLAN access.

Deployment of a dedicated WiMAX network solely for the purpose of an AMI likely cannot be
justified. In those areas where public WiMAX services are available (e.g. municipal
networks), WiMAX may principally be an option. WiMAX-based AMR solutions are in
discussion, but no real deployments are known to the authors.

5.3.5 2G/2.5G GSM/GPRS/EDGE

In Europe, coverage of public cellular mobile networks is approaching 100% of civilised


areas. Today, mobile services are available almost everywhere making the cellular
infrastructure extremely valuable for all kind of applications including AMR.

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2G cellular mobile networks commonly provide data services at net data rates up to several
kbps or several tens of kbps. These data services are optimally tailored to most telemetry
and remote metering applications. Network operators also provide special data call numbers
and data-only SIM cards for GSM data modem devices and offer data services at special
tariffs.

For AMR applications, data is typically transmitted either via SMS or the circuit-switched
non-transparent GSM data service (CSD) based on Radio Link Protocol (RLP) providing 9.6
kbps net throughput in both directions.

If higher transmission speed is required, HSCSD supporting multi-slot transmission and


higher rate coding (FEC) schemes can be used. GPRS or EGPRS (EDGE) enhanced GSM
networks can provide packet-oriented data services at even higher speed up to 80 kbps and
237 kbps, respectively, depending on link quality. A summary of GSM-based data services
and corresponding data rates is given in the table below.

Down-link Up-link Number of slots


Transmission
mode
[kbps] [kbps] (DL/UL)

CSD 9.6 9.6 1/1

HSCSD 28.8 14.4 2/1

HSCSD 43.2 14.4 3/1

GPRS 80.0 20.0 4/1

GPRS 60.0 40.0 3/2

EDGE 236.8 59.2 4/1

EDGE 177.6 118.4 3/2

Table 5-3: 2G/2.5G GSM data services and user data rate

In Europe GSM networks operate at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. Though 900 MHz signals
penetrate walls reasonably well, there are still many areas and locations where GSM
services are not available e.g. in the basement of a house where meters are often located.
To get a reliable solution, GSM antennas often have to be installed above ground level
resulting in some non-negligible installation costs. Typically, to limit antenna cable length
thus RF losses, GSM data modems are installed remotely, connected via a wired or wireless
link to the meters.

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No investments neither into access nor backhaul network infrastructure (CAPEX) are
needed for cellular network-based AMR solutions. However, fees to be paid to network
operators for use of data services (OPEX) and some in-house installation and equipment
costs would have to be taken into account in a business case.

5.3.6 3G UMTS

Similarly to 2G/2.5G technologies, the W-CDMA-based 3G/UMTS technologies and


evolutions thereof (HDSDPA, HSUPA) are principally able to provide data-only services
suitable for telemetry and metering applications. These services are normally packet-
oriented and IP based. Likely, operators could offer 3G data services at more economical
conditions than 2G services.

Today, deployment of 3G networks operating at 2 GHz is still far behind 2G. This is
particularly true in less populated and rural areas. This may however change in future, since
3G/UMTS is considered a strong candidate to provide broadband Internet access in those
areas currently not served by xDSL and cable. Nevertheless, indoor penetration at 2 GHz
must be considered less effective than at 900 MHz requiring house gateways or 2 GHz
antennas to be mounted at well selected positions.

5.3.7 LTE

The main advantages with LTE are high throughput, low latency, plug and play from day
one. LTE will support seamless connection to existing networks, such as GSM, CDMA and
WCDMA. However LTE requires a completely new RAN and core network deployment and
is not backward compatible with existing UMTS systems.

The 3GPP (LTE) is defining IP-based, flat network architecture as part of the System
Architecture Evaluation (SAE) effort. LTE–SAE architecture and concepts have been
designed for efficient support of mass-market usage of any IP-based service.

5.3.8 PMR (TETRA, TETRAPOL)

TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked Radio) is a European digital radio standard originally developed
in ETSI for all sorts of Private Mobile Radio (PMR) and Public Access Mobile Radio (PAMR)
applications such as police, ambulance, fire, transport and security services. TETRA uses
time division multiple access (TDMA) technology with four slots on one radio carrier and 25
kHz carrier spacing.

TETRAPOL is a proprietary standard originally developed by MATRA for the French


Gendarmerie (RUBIS system) but that has later been promoted to an ETSI standard as well.

Today, TETRA and TETRAPOL systems are mainly used by public safety, the military, and
closed user groups such as utilities, factories, and transport/logistic enterprises. Currently,
TETRA or TETRAPOL cellular PMR networks are deployed in several areas in Europe and
worldwide. A list of frequency bands currently allocated for TETRA is given in table below.

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Uplink [MHz] Downlink [MHz] Usage

380 - 383 390 - 393 Public safety, emergency

383 - 395 393 - 395 Extension band for public safety and emergency

385 - 390 395 - 400 Civil services

410 – 420 420 - 430 Civil services

450 - 460 460 - 470 Civil services

870 – 876 915 – 921 Civil services

Table 5-4: Frequency bands allocated for TETRA in Europe

Though typically operating in lower UHF ranges where signals penetrate into homes more
easily, indoor coverage of PMR networks is considered far worse compared to GSM, since
cell radius is generally much larger for PMR. Indeed, some PMR operators are currently
reconsidering use of outdated radio paging systems as a way to more reliably alert their staff
indoors without having to rely on public mobile infrastructure (see subsection 5.3.9).

Regarding AMR applications, TETRA could offer suitable and efficient packet data and
circuit data transfer services at data rates similar to those provided by 2G/GSM. On the other
hand, the use of existing PMR networks in an AMI concept may be difficult by the following
reasons:

• PMR landscape will remain heterogeneous in Europe (TETRA, TETRAPOL, old


analogue PMR),

• Use of nation-wide or area-wide systems is exclusive to public safety and emergency


services

• Most utilities no more operate an own PMR system but rather rely on public mobile
infrastructure

Deploying new TETRA infrastructure solely for metering, smart grid and house automation
purposes could hardly be justified.

5.3.9 2-way radio paging (ERMES, ReFLEX)

Before GSM networks have been deployed in large scale, radio paging system enjoyed
great popularity to alert people and for short messaging. Some of these systems are still in
operation, locally and new deployments are apparently under consideration for public safety
organisations (see subsection 5.3.8).

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Radio paging systems have the potential to provide a nation-wide or area-wide coverage
with a minimum of infrastructure (large cell radius). Data rates are in the order of 10 kbps or
higher. Some paging standards also support a return channel (2-way paging), which makes
them potentially suitable for AMR applications. Moreover, paging systems are typically
operated at VHF e.g. 138 MHz, providing good penetration into buildings.

The European ERMES specifies a return channel transmitting at 50 bps, which is considered
rather low in regards to a future AMI. However, the proprietary standard ReFLEX (Motorola)
seems to support higher transmission speed in the return link (9.6 kbps).

Since operation of paging systems have been discontinued in many areas, they cannot
anymore be considered as attractive for remote metering and related applications. Deploying
new paging infrastructure for these purposes may principally be possible, however in this
case more advanced and future-proof proprietary technologies are available (see section
5.2).

5.3.10 European Radio Ripple control

European radio ripple control is a low data rate long wave (VLF) broadcast system presently
used in Germany and Hungary for various energy related applications such as

• remote control of street lighting (lighting management)

• Power plant load management

• Customer tariff switching and load management

• Etc.

Carrier frequencies are at 129.1 kHz (Mainflingen, D), 139.0 kHz (Burg, D), and 135.6 KHz
(Lakihegi, H). The system is transmitting at 200 Bd using binary FSK (340 Hz shift). Radio
telegram formats are specified by IEC 60870-3 and DIN 19244.

Coverage radius by a single transmitter is typically 300 to 500 km thanks to ground wave
propagation along earth curvature, which are peculiar at VLF. These long waves also
penetrate deep into the ground making reception possible also in basements in general.
(Steel reinforced concrete may shield the signal to some degree).

Users of the system send their control applications to the host computer via Datex-P, ISDN
or via the Internet using the user control station. From there, the switch commands are
passed on to the high power (100 kW) broadcast transmitter. Appliances then receive control
signal using radio receiver/decoder modules.

Though transmission speed of this system is much faster than classical audio frequency
ripple control via power lines, the system cannot meet data capacity requirements a future
AMI. Furthermore, it is unidirectional, thus requiring extra communications infrastructure for
the return link resulting in no real advantage over other solutions.

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5.3.11 Satellite systems

The use of satellite systems for metering and energy related end-user services in areas
where there is no suitable terrestrial communication infrastructure may be an alternative
solution. Today, a number of satellite systems offering low speed data services would be
available. Candidates are Iridium that is based on a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) non-stationary
U U

multi-satellite constellation and SpaceChecker using a geostationary (GEO) space segment.


U U

Iridium can provide relatively high link margin enabling in-house coverage to a certain extent.
Moreover, there is no requirement for directional antennas and placing antennas is also less
critical compared to GEO-based systems.

SpaceChecker provides 2-way low speed data communications for global asset tracking
such as Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and telemetry & telecommand (SCADA) with
worldwide coverage using existing GEO satellite infrastructure. The service is already used
for remote metering e.g. along oil/gas pipelines and similar etc. SpaceChecker offers cost
efficient solutions in terms of both modem equipment and airtime, but requires installation of
RF antennas in line-of-sight to the satellite, a disadvantage, if this solution was used
extensively.

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6 WIRE-LINE TECHNOLOGIES

6.1 Data over PSTN


Data transmission over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) has been used
since long. With advances in voice-band modem technologies in the recent years,
transmission speed has been steadily increasing virtually reaching Shannon limit of the
bandwidth limited end-to-end analogue phone line channel (0.3 – 3.1 kHz) with the V.34
standard. The V.34bis standard achieves a maximum throughput of 33.4 kbps over an
entirely analogue channel. It is based on trellis coded higher order modulation and
sophisticated equalization techniques.

With the digitalisation of the PSTN behind local exchange (end office) providing a 64 kbps
digital channel per phone call (the basic DS0 circuit), the use of even faster modem
standards have become possible to bridge the remaining analogue ‘last mile’ segment only.
The V.92 standard e.g. provides 56 kbps downstream and approximately 33 kbps upstream.

The use of the PSTN is principally an interesting option for AMR and related applications,
since today in Europe every house is connected to the PSTN via at least one twisted pair.
Data rates achievable with PSTN compatible modem standards (V.34 and V.92) would be
adequate for these purposes. Apart from the modem equipment in the house gateway and
possible installation costs to connect the house gateway to the POTS, there are no CAPEX.
However, since there is typically only one customer phone line available, dial-in charges
would be on customers account. Moreover, the use of the analogue phone line by both
customer and AMI may lead to conflicts particularly, if the PSTN is frequently accessed.

The use of an ISDN technology providing at least 2 independent channels at even higher
speed may be an alternative to circumvent this problem. However, ISDN is not available in
every household.

6.2 xDSL
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is a data communications technology that
enables much faster data transmission over copper telephone lines than conventional voice-
HT TH HT TH HT

band modems can provide. It does this by utilising frequencies well above the voice band (>
TH HT TH

25 kHz). The band from 25.875 kHz to 138 kHz is used for the upstream, whilst 138 kHz –
HT TH

1104 kHz is used for the downstream.

Offering ADSL services to end users requires a so-called DSL Access Multiplexer (DSLAM)
in the local exchange/end office. Data carried by the ADSL is typically routed over the
telecom operators data networks and the Internet.

The latest ITU G.992.1 Annex A standard (ADSL over POTS/twisted pair copper) supports
HT TH

up to 12 Mbps down-stream and 1.3 Mbps upstream. In real channel conditions, achievable
data rates are usually significantly lower depending on line length and cross-talk interference

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levels. ADSL can generally only be used over line length typically less than 4km assuming a
minimum service offer of a few hundred kbps.

Today a high percentage of households in Europe use ADSL for Internet access over POTS
lines. If correctly installed, ADSL does not conflict with the use of the PSTN.

In cities, where telephone lines are typically shorter, the VDSL technology using frequencies
far into the MHz range (<20 MHz for VDSL and <30 MHz for VDSL2) are presently deployed.
These ADSL evolution standards can support data rates up to 100 Mbps under optimum
conditions enabling high quality IP-based TV services typically requiring several Mbps.

Today in Western Europe, a high percentage of PSTN local loops are equipped with ADSL.
Its use at flat-rate tariff makes this technology an interesting candidate in an AMI concept.
However, since ADSL cannot support point-to-multi-point connections, bandwidth cannot be
shared with a second ADSL modem that is part of the AMI house gateway. An ADSL
terminal equipment common to both AMI and customer Internet access may principally be
possible. However, its practical implementation would require introduction of new business
concepts where infrastructure is shared among energy and telecom service providers.

6.3 FTTB, FTTH


Fiber to the premises (FTTP) is a form of fiber-optic communication delivery in which an
HTU UTH

optical fiber is run directly onto the customers' premises. This contrasts with other fiber-optic
HTU UTH HTU UTH

communication delivery strategies such as fiber to the node (FTTN), fiber to the curb
HTU UTH HTU UTH

(FTTC), or hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC), all of which depend upon more traditional methods
HTU UTH

such as copper wires or coaxial cable for "last mile" delivery. HTU UTH

Fiber to the premises can be further categorized according to where the optical fiber ends:

• FTTH (fiber to the home) is a form of fiber optic communication delivery in which the
optical signal reaches the end user's living or office space.

• FTTB (fiber to the building) is a form of fiber optic communication delivery in which
the optical signal reaches the private property enclosing the home or business of the
subscriber or set of subscribers, but where the optical fiber terminates before
reaching the home living space or business office space, with the path extended from
that point up to the user's space over a physical medium other than optical fiber.

Different companies like telecom or electricity have started to invest in this new technology.

6.4 M-Bus
M-Bus “Meter bus” is a European standard, used mainly for one-way or two-way data
exchange with gas, water and heat meters. It can also be used with various sensors and
actuators. M-bus also supports remote powering of communication devices via the data
wires (power over data)

It is standardised by CEN TC 294, "Communication systems for meters and remote reading
of meters" in the EN 13757 series. TC 294 covers data exchange with all utility meters
except electricity meters, which are covered by IEC / CENELEC TC 13.

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EN 13757-1 is a general standard for meter data exchange, covering several physical
media, protocols and the COSEM application data model. The parts EN 13757-2 ... EN
13757-6 specify the M-Bus protocol layers. M-Bus uses an OSI three-layer (collapsed)
protocol architecture, consisting of:

• the wired or the wireless physical layer;

• the data link layer based on IEC 60870-5-1 and IEC 60870-5-2;

• the (M-Bus) dedicated application layer.

M-Bus can alternatively be used with DLMS/COSEM: the COSEM Application layer specified
in IEC 62056-53, the COSEM objects specified in IEC 62056-62 and the OBIS identification
system specified in IEC 62056-61 (electricity) and in EN 13757-1 (other than electricity).

On the other hand, devices using DLMS/COSEM – e.g. electricity meters or house gateways
– may be set up as M-Bus masters, exchanging data with devices using M-Bus.

M-bus supports the following physical interfaces:

• twisted pair local bus with base band signalling, according to EN 13757-2;

• wireless in the unlicensed 868 – 980 MHz SRD (Short Range Device) band,
according to EN 13757-4. It is suitable for in-house data exchange, up to 15 m. The
action radius can be extended by using the relaying methods specified in EN 13757-
5;

• local bus, according to EN 13757-6.

M-Bus is a protocol optimised from the point of view of the meter, allowing simple and low
cost implementations and long battery life.

Additional more detailed information on M-Bus is provided in an Appendix to this document.

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7 POWERLINE COMMUNICATIONS (PLC)

7.1 General
The use of existing powerlines (MV and LV) for communications in a future open AMI
providing energy-related end-user applications is obvious, since most devices and
appliances of interest are already connected to the power grid.

Today, many proprietary technologies and industrial (open) standards exist for
communications over powerline (PLC) and systems have already been deployed in large
scale. Normally, a distinction is made between

• Narrowband PLC systems operating in the so-called CENELEC band essentially


below 148.5 kHz based on a commonly accepted normative basis. (for utility-related
services CENELEC Band A from 3 to 95 kHz applies)

• Broadband PLC systems typically operating between 2 – 30 MHz on an interim


normative basis not yet commonly accepted

In the U.S., there exist commonly accepted standards enabling PLC solutions for MV and LV
networks at frequencies up to about 450 KHz.

Apart from EMC concerns and regulatory issues not yet resolved, PLC operating in the MHz
(HF) range has advantages over systems running at low frequencies in the CENELEC band.
These are

• Coupling and surge/transient protection becomes simpler

• Higher access impedance

• Signal propagation is lesser affected by changing network loading

An important issue of PLC-based AMR in general is the intermeshing of the power


distribution network which may pose problems in certain cases, e.g. when parts of the LV
grid are disconnected and reconnected to another feeding transformer or other similar
scenarios. A PLC based AMI should be capable of handling such situations.

7.2 Non-standardised narrowband PLC technologies


7.2.1 Echelon and others

Echelon Corporation (US) has developed a CENELEC band powerline technology based on
a BPSK scheme enabling very low cost AMR solutions.

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In the CENELEC band A, it uses two frequencies, the primary at 86 kHz and the secondary
at 75 kHz to increase reliability of communication. If the primary is blocked by noise, the
system jumps to the secondary. If configured to the upper CENELEC bands e.g. for in-house
communications, the system operates at 123 kHz (Band C) and 115 kHz (Band B),
respectively.

The PHY layer, as specified in CEA 709.2 specification, is based on a 5482.45 bit/s BPSK
(Binary Phase Shift Keying) modulated signal operating in CENELEC C Band at a center
frequency of 131.579 kHz.

LonWorks®, previously known as LonTalk®, is a protocol suite defined by Echelon Corp. in


the early ‘90s that became a standard in Europe (EN 14908), America (ANSI/CEA 709) and
China (GB/Z 20177).

Though using the LonTalk protocol that has been accepted as a standard for control
networking, the Echelon’s PLC system itself cannot be considered as an open standard.
Supported data rates may also be too low with respect to requirements of a future AMI
providing supplementary services.

7.2.2 PRIME

PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) is the specification of the lower layers of a
system to provide an open, royalty free narrowband PLC solution for PHY and MAC layer,
together with certain convergence layers definition. PRIME is intended to operate in
CENELEC band A in LV power grids. PRIME seeks interoperability for different vendors’
equipment and systems. PRIME members, involved in the definition of the technology,
include Advanced Digital Design, CURRENT Group, ERDF - Electricité Réseau Distribution
France, Iberdrola, Landis+Gyr, STMicroelectronics, uSyscom and ZIV Medida.

The PRIME PHY layer is based on channel adaptive OFDM along with FEC. The advantage
of OFDM is its ability to cope with severe channel conditions such as frequency selective
attenuation and narrowband interference without complex additional mechanisms (e.g.
equalisation filters). Furthermore OFDM is spectrally efficiencient, thus allowing for higher
data rates given the limited usable frequency range in CENELEC band A.

A total of 96 data subcarriers are transmitted between 42 kHz and 89 kHz using
convolutionally coded frequency differential M-ary PSK where M can be 2, 4 or 8.

BPSK QPSK 8PSK

With FEC 21.4 kbps 42.9 kbps 64.3 kbps

Without 42.9 kbps 85.7 kbps 128.6 kbps


FEC

Table 7-1: PRIME PHY data rates for the different transmission modes

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7.2.3 Telegestore -DLC

Telegestore that is ENELs AMR system uses a proprietary narrowband PLC technology
called DLC (Distribution Line Carrier Communication). DLC is designed for the LV part of the
power distribution network and operates in CENELEC band A with a net speed of 2.4 kbps.
No detailed information is available.

7.2.4 ZIV

ZIV is a proprietay narrowband technology developed by the Spain based company ZIV
Medida to bidirectionally communicate via the LV network in CENELEC band A. No detailed
information available.

7.3 Open narrowband PLC technology standards


7.3.1 IEC 61334-5-1 S-FSK

IEC 61334-5-1, specifying the physical and the MAC layers, is the only PLC standard (DLC
in IEC terminology) supported by IEC. It uses Spread Frequency Shift Keying modulation (S-
FSK). The IEC 61334 series provide the specification of all OSI layers necessary for efficient
PLC communication. In particular, the application models of IEC 62056-61/62
(DLMS/COSEM) with the IEC 52056-53 application layer can be connected via the IEC
61334-32 link layer to IEC 61334-5-1. The physical and MAC layers are supported by chips
from several manufacturers. Smart metering systems based on IEC 61334-5-1 are offered
by several meter/system providers. The IEC 61334-5-1 standard is part of the Dutch NTA
DSMR specification.

PLC systems based on the Spread Frequency Shift Keying standard achieve reliable
communication by combining frequency diversity, a robust repeating scheme, extensive
error control with a lean protocol stack. However, supported data rates may be too low with
respect to requirements of a future AMI.

7.3.2 IEC 61334-5-2

IEC 61334-5-2 describes an FSK based Physical Layer for PLC. The PHY layer relies on a
binary differential FSK modulation. Its main characteristics are:
• Half Duplex operation
• Synchronous transmission
• Bit rate of 600 bit/s or 1200 bit/s

7.3.3 IEC61334-5-4

IEC61334-5-4 describes an OFDM-based PHY layer for communication via power lines. The
basic modulation scheme is DPSK. Carrier spacing is 4.5 kHz leading to a brut data rate per

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carrier of 4.5 kbps. To increase the robustness with respect to channel impairments, a rate
½-convolutional code is used.

7.3.4 CENELEC EN50090 (KNX – PL)

The Konnex protocol is a communication protocol suite for home automation approved as
International Standard (ISO/IEC 14543-3), European Standard (CENELEC EN 50090 and
EN 13321-1) and Chinese Standard (GB/Z 20965). Konnex supports communications via
several physical media, among others: power line, twisted pairs, RF, and IP tunnelling.
Regarding power line two profiles are defined:

• PL110 profile is an S-FSK scheme based on the EIB PL110 physical layer. Center
Frequency is 110 kHz (CENELEC band B) with maximum signalling speed of 1.2
kbps.

• PL132 profile is an FSK scheme based on EHS physical Layer. Center frequency is
132.5 kHz (CENELEC band C) with maximum signalling speed of 2.4 kbps.

7.4 Non-standardised broadband PLC (BPL) technologies


7.4.1 Homeplug

HomePlug 1.0 and HomePlug AV are the two major industrial standards for Broadband
Powerline Communications (BPL) specified by The HomePlug Alliance, a large stakeholder
group encompassing about 70 companies. A further standard HomePlug BPL mainly for ‘last
mile’ access solutions is under development.

HomePlug 1.0 has been specified with a specific focus on home networking (in-house LANs
on existing power wiring), whilst HomePlug AV aims at home audio and video distribution
over powerlines. In May 2008, ANSI/TIA incorporated HomePlug 1.0 powerline technology
into the newly published TIA-1113 international standard.

Similarly to WLAN 802.11a/g, HomePlug 1.0 is based on OFDM and a CSMA/CA protocol
but uses the frequency range 4 – 21 MHz over powerline. To reduce probability of interfering
with residentially operated amateur radio, HomePlug notches the shortwave amateur radio
bands by default. The baseline standard supports a maximum PHY layer payload rate of
approximately 14 Mbps (half-duplex) with an effective throughput comparable to 10BASE-T
Ethernet, with provisions for extensions to higher rates. Chip provider Intellon e.g. has been
providing HomePlug 1.0 compatible chipsets supporting proprietary modes at speeds up to
85 Mbps.

HomePlug 1.0/Intellon technology is already in use for smart grid and broadband end-user
applications in the United States. Thanks to the CSMA/CA-based access protocol,
HomePlug 1.0 is capable to form ad hoc networks easing deployments in LV and MV power
grids. It also supports robust transmission modes (< 1 Mbps) to maintain connectivity in
adverse channel conditions, which is considered particularly interesting in the context of
smart grid and remote metering applications.

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Since there exist other BPL standards as well (e.g. HomePlug AV, HD-PLC from Panasonic
and OPERA/UPA from DS2), co-existence may be an issue e.g. in a scenario where
HomePlug 1.0 was used in an AMI access network and HD-PLC as inhome private network.
For such reasons HomePlug, along with other organizations such as CEPCA, UPA and HD- HT TH HT TH HT

PLC, is participating in developing the IEEE P1901 standard for powerline communications.
TH HT TH

P1901 defines a set of multiple non-interoperable PHY and MAC specifications and a
HT TH HT TH

coexistence protocol between them. Although different P1901 devices may not interoperate,
they will coexist with each other.

HomePlug 1.0 is certainly an interesting candidate for smart grid applications and in
particular in regards to inhouse extensions to provide end-user services requiring increased
data rates. However, it has to be considered that the technology (chip sets) is still relatively
expensive and power hungry and there is not yet a clear normative/regulatory basis for BPL
in the MHz-range.

The HomePlug standard has been filed to IEEE to become an open standard.

7.4.2 Panasonic

The Panasonic BPL technology is a proprietary solution designed for providing in-home
audio/video distribution. The Panasonic BPL technology is based on a wavelet OFDM
scheme and concatenated RS and convolutional coding providing a maximum PHY data rate
of 210 Mbps. The technology uses the frequency range from 2 to 28 MHz. Medium access is
based on a CSMA/CD scheme. The technology can provide transmission speeds up to 90
Mbps at MAC layer and up to 65 Mbps at TCP layer. The technology supports different
higher layers such as IPv4, IPv6, TCP and UDP.

7.4.3 OPERA/UPA (DS2)

OPERA/UPA is another industrial standard for BPL, which has been promoted by the
Universal Powerline Association (UPA) and specified by the Open PLC European Research
Alliance, a consortium of about 26 partners, within EC-funded projects OPERA I and OPERA
II.

OPERA/UPA is based on the technology developed by the Spanish Valencia-based chip


design house DS2 with a specific focus on the ‘last mile’ access market. Today, the OPERA
standard also includes enhancements for in-house networking.

OPERA/UPA operates in the frequency range from 2 to 32 MHz using a thoroughly designed
OFDM scheme with narrow carrier spacing (typically <10 kHz) and a well-defined transmit
spectrum. It supports various bandwidth mode (10, 20, 30 MHz) and configurable highly
efficient frequency notching to protect radio services if required.

The standard supports a maximum PHY layer payload rate of 205 Mbps (half-duplex) with
an effective throughput at Ethernet port in the order of 130 Mbps. The OPERA standard is
based on a centrally-managed medium access using a token-pass protocol. It also supports
a robust transmission mode (Hurto-mode, <1 Mbps) to maintain connectivity in adverse
channel conditions, which is considered particularly interesting in the context of smart grid
and metering applications.

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The OPERA/UPA standard is an interesting candidate for smart grid applications and in
particular in regards to in-house extensions requiring increased data rates. A centrally-
managed access based on master – slave principals is however less suitable with respect to
easy deployment and installation likely requiring ad hoc and mesh networking capability
rather than ultimate throughput performance.

DS2 is currently working on a new solution specifically for AMI applications, which shall be
released within 2009 and should include among other features: automatic mesh network
capability with automatic repetition, and handling up to 300 nodes in the same cell.
Therefore, its use is worth to be considered not only in MV backbone networks but also on
the LV portion (AMI).

The OPERA/UPA standard has been filed to IEEE and ETSI to become an open standard.

7.5 Open broadband PLC technology standards


7.5.1 IEEE P1901

IEEE P1901 “Draft Standard for Broadband over Power Line Networks: Medium Access
Control and Physical Layer Specifications" is a draft standard for broadband over power line H

networks covering medium access control and physical layer specifications. The standard is
H H H H H

one of the most important initiatives for a global BPL standard that could cover, among
others, BPL application to smart grids and metering. This standard is in a drafting stage yet.

Its initial scope, as defined when the group was created back in June 2005, was to develop a
standard for high speed (>100 Mbit/s PHY layer rate via powerlines. The standard will use
H H

transmission frequencies below 100 MHz and support Access BPL (‘last mile’) as well as In-
H H

home BPL for in-building LANs.

The standard focuses on the balanced and efficient use of the power line medium by all
classes of BPL systems, defining detailed mechanisms for coexistence and interoperability,
and ensuring that desired bandwidth and quality of service may be delivered. P1901 also
addresses security to ensure privacy of communications between users and allow the use of
BPL for security sensitive services.

The standard is limited to the physical layer and the medium access sub-layer of the data H

link layer, as defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Open
H H H H

Systems Interconnection (OSI) Basic Reference Model.


H

The adopted baseline currently includes three separate options for PHY and MAC.

• Option 1: largely based on the original proposal, which uses an OFDM scheme

• Otion 2: largely based on Panasonic Wavelet-OFDM technology

• Option 3: Introduced by DS2 and other P1901 access companies. It is also OFDM-
based and tries to be compatible with a similar standardization effort in ITU-T, called

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G.hn/G.9960, which is a home networking standard being developed by ITU-T for H H

operation over power lines, phone lines and coaxial cable (see subsection 7.5.2).

MAC layers on top of the three different PHYs also differ currently. So it is to be seen which
option is finally favored by the market. Clearly, the biggest hurdle for 1901 technologies to be
used in metering will be price, so a fundamental issue will be how the massive adoption of a
certain option for in-home positively impacts its costs for Access applications.

The applicability of the P1901 standard to metering solutions and smart grid applications will
depend on the market success of BPL in general

7.5.2 ITU-T G.hn

G.hn is an ITU-T working group defining a standard for high-speed networking over power
lines, phone lines and coaxial wiring. The Physical layer proposed by G.hn
(Recommendation G.9960) was adopted by ITU in Dec 2008, and has wide industry support
from silicon vendors, equipment manufacturers, service providers and various industry
groups (HomeGrid Forum, UPA, HomePNA and CEPCA).

Although initially conceived for home networking applications, G.hn’s PHY and MAC
includes all the features required for long distance access applications, such as
repeating/relaying capabilities, end-to-end AES encryption, low-power modes of operation,
programmable spectrum, remote management, etc.

The G.hn standard is an interesting candidate for smart grid applications. In the long term, it
is expected to become the dominant standard for home networking, so smartgrid
applications that make use of it would benefit from the extremely high volume currently
generated by the consumer networking market.

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8 DATA/APPLICATION MODELS

8.1 General
The data/application model describes the basic principles on which Objects are built. (An
Object is a collection of attributes and methods.)It also gives a short overview on how
interfaces are used for communication purposes. Data collection systems and metering
equipment from different vendors, following these specifications, can exchange data in an
interoperable way.

However, a data/application model is not necessarily object based. ANSI C.12.19 e.g. uses
tables.

8.2 Proprietary data/application models


Proprietary data/application models are typically created and maintained by equipment
manufacturers. It is up to the manufacturer to make the models publically available or to
make them available only to selected partners and to protect them by IP rights. Because
there is no “public organization” guaranteeing proper maintenance of these models, typically
the specifications are not stable and may vary with equipment type changes.

Interoperability with proprietary data/application models may be achieved on central system


level by providing different “drivers” to handle equipment from different manufacturers (or
even different types of the same manufacturer). This solution is not very cost effective but
guarantees a recurring business for the central system providers.

8.3 Open data/application models standards


8.3.1 IEC 62056-61/62 COSEM

The application models cover classical AMR and smart metering applications for Electricity
Gas, heat and Water. Besides the application models the standards also contain a unified
object identification system (OBIS). The standards are permanently maintained by the
DLMS-User Association considering the latest market needs and technology developments.
The COSEM standards define the applications independently of the supporting
communication media and protocols. The use of the COSEM standards on PSTN or GSM
IP-based communication channels as well as for PLC communication is specified in the IEC
62056 series. The IEC 62056-61/62 standard is part of the Dutch NTA DSMR specification.

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9 SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS
The generic architecture of an AMI has been identified and structured. An overview on state-
of-the-art meter reading concepts is provided mainly in regards to communications
technologies presently used.

A number of communications technologies that are considered potentially interesting for use
in an AMI and in particular in the access and back-haul segment of an AMI have been briefly
reviewed and discussed (major PROs and CONs). More detailed considerations of a subset
U U

of these technologies however will follow in the other parts of the D2.1 report. A thorough
assessment of a subset of technologies (candidates) is then part of T2.2 which is reported in
deliverable D2.2.

A summary of preliminary conclusions is given in the following:

Wireless access solutions may profit from existing public network infrastructure (e.g. GSM)
but generally require some non-negligible investments (CAPEX) to install antennas or RF
transceivers at suitable places at customer premises in order to provide reliable connections
at all locations and in all areas. This is particularly true in areas where coverage is weak
and/or meters are located in basements. Use of public wireless networks generates OPEX
depending on the amount of traffic and contracts with operators. Toll-free utility-owned and
operated wide area PMR networks normally do not exist.

Wide range low data rate radio systems operating in UHF-ISM-bands using robust
transmission techniques are attractive solutions for AMR as they are potential to reach
meters in basements with a minimum of antenna sites, thus low infrastructure CAPEX.
However, system capacity of these systems likely cannot meet capacity requirements for
provisioning of future end-user services.

Wired solutions e.g. via phone lines of the local loop are interesting alternatives. However,
since there is typically only one subscriber line available, the use of phone line technologies
would be charged on customers account. The use of subscriber lines by both customer and
AMI operator may lead to conflicts and responsibility issues. Moreover, in most cases the
PSTN connection is not where the meter is and therefore may involve some additional
installation costs.

Fibre optical networks may provide multi-subscriber capability, but FTTH deployments in the
near future will be only locally and not area wide.

Wired solutions via the powerline are particularly interesting as many devices (meters, smart
appliances, etc.) are already connected to the power grid. However, they still require

• a solution to communicate with those devices not connected to the power network
(e.g. gas, water and heat meters)

• PLC equipment to be installed in meters and substations

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• a solution for the back-haul network that may be PLC-based as well

This all may add significantly to the CAPEX. However low OPEX may be expected relative to
other solutions e.g. relying on public networks operated by telecom companies.

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10 COPYRIGHT
T

“Copyright and Reprint Permissions. You may freely reproduce all or part of this paper
for non-commercial purposes, provided that the following conditions are fulfilled: (i) to
cite the authors, as the copyright owners (ii) to cite the OPEN meter Project and
mention that the European Commission co-finances it, by means of including this
statement “OPEN meter. Energy Project No 226369. Funded by EC” and (iii) not to
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11 APPENDIX

11.1 M-Bus standard


11.1.1 The relevant standards

EN 60870-5-1, Telecontrol equipment and systems – Part 5: Transmission protocols –


Section 1: Transmission frame formats (IEC 60870-5-1:1990)

IEC 60870-5-2:1992, Telecontrol equipment and systems – Part 5: Transmission protocols –


Section 2: Link transmission procedures

EN 13757-1:2002, Communication system for meters and remote reading of meters – Part 1:
Data exchange

EN 13757-2:2002, Communication system for meters and remote reading of meters – Part 2:
Physical and Link layer

EN 13757-3:2004, Communication systems for and remote reading of meters – Part 3:


Dedicated application layer

EN 13757-4:2005, Communication systems for meters and remote reading of meters - Part
4: Wireless meter readout (Radio meter reading for operation in the 868 MHz to 870 MHz
SRD band)

EN 13757-5:2008, Wireless meter readout — Communication systems for meters and


remote reading of meters — Part 5: Relaying

EN 13757-6: 2007, Communication systems for and remote reading of meters. Part 6: Local
bus

EN 1443-3:2008, Heat Meters - Part 3: Data exchange and interfaces

CEPT/ERC/REC 70-03 E, Relating to the use of short range devices (SRD)

ETSI EN 300 220-1, V1.3.1:2000, ElectroMagnetic Compatibility and Radio Spectrum


Matters (ERM); Short range devices (SRD); Radio equipment to be used in the 25 MHz to 1
000 MHz frequency range with power levels ranging up to 500 mW; Part 1: Technical
characteristics and test methods

Dutch Smart Metering Requirements (DSMR) – P2 Companion Standard, V2.31 8th January P P

2009

DLMS User Association 1000-1:2009, Ed. 9.0: Blue Book: COSEM identification system and
interface classes.

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11.1.2 The EN 13757-1 standard

EN 13757-1 is a standard covering data exchange with utility meters (other than electricity).
It covers the possibilities summarized in Error! Reference source not found..

Hardware interface Physical layer Data link layer Application layer Application data
type model

IEC 62056-21 Mode C: (ASCII)


Current loop: Clause IEC 62056-21 – –
4.1 Clause 6.3
Local V.24/V.28: Mode E (binary) IEC 62056-62
Clause 4.2 IEC 62056-53 COSEM interface
IEC 62056-46 HDLC COSEM Application classes
Optical: Clause 4.3. based data link layer
layer IEC 62056-61 OBIS

EN 13757-3 M-Bus –
dedicated
application layer
Twisted pair
EN 13757-2 EN 13757-2
baseband signalling IEC 62056-62
Clause 4 Clause 5
(M-Bus) IEC 62056-53 COSEM interface
COSEM Application classes
layer
IEC 62056-61 OBIS

Twisted pair carrier


IEC 62056-31
signalling (Euridis)
without DLMS Clause 3.1 Clause 3.2 Clause 3.3 –
with DLMS Clause 3.1. Clause 4.2. Clause 4.3 IEC 61334-4-41
with DLMS/COSEM under consideration
1
P P

Wireless M-bus EN 13757-4 EN 13757-3



Relaying: EN 13757-5
IEC 62056-53 IEC 62056-62
With Mode Q relaying COSEM COSEM interface
(specified in EN 13757-5) classes
IEC 62056-61 OBIS

IEC 62056-62
IEC 62056-46 HDLC IEC 62056-53 COSEM interface
PSTN IEC 62056-42 based data link COSEM Application classes
layer layer
IEC 62056-61 OBIS
1
P P This is a new evolution, not covered by EN 13757-1:2002

Table 11-1: Interfaces and protocols in EN 13757-1

EN 13757-1 uses the COSEM interface classes specified in IEC 62056-61. It specifies OBIS
codes for utility meters other than electricity.

Note, that the evolutions of the DLMS/COSEM specification since the 2002 edition of EN
13757-1 are not covered in this table.

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11.1.3 M-Bus System architecture

The system architecture is different in the case of the wired – twisted pair – and the wireless
– SRD radio – media. Figure 11-1 shows the wired infrastructure with 4 meters. NOTE:
Figures below are from the Dutch DSMR P2 interface specification.

Figure 11-1: M-Bus wired infrastructure – example

Figure 11-2 shows the wired infrastructure with 4 meters.

Figure 11-2: M-Bus wireless infrastructure – example with T1 or T2 mode

The M-Bus Master / Listener stores and forwards data read from the M-Bus slaves to a
central system, and issues and / or forwards commands from a central system to the M-Bus
slaves, using a suitable protocol.

In the Dutch smart metering system, the Master/ Listener is an electricity meter, using the
DLMS/COSEM object model and the GPRS or S-FSK PLC DLMS/COSEM communication
profile. See also 11.1.10.

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11.1.4 EN 13757-2: The physical and the link layer of the wired (twisted pair) M-Bus
profile

The physical and the data link layers for data exchange via twisted pairs with base band
signalling (there is no carrier signal) are specified in EN 13757-2.

Information from the master to the slave is transmitted via voltage level changes. All slaves
are constant current sinks: space (0) corresponds to a high current and mark (1)
corresponds to a low current.

The two wires can be exchanged and they are protected against short circuit. The slave
interface can be equipped with an optional reversible mains protection. This option is
interesting for devices powered from the mains.

Most meters using M-Bus would run on a battery supply, but meters on the twisted pair bus
can be optionally supplied from the bus.

The total cable length can be a few kilometers.

The default baud rate is 300 Bd. Baud rates up to 38,400 Baud are supported. The number
of devices on the bus may limit the baud rate to lower values.

The link layer is based on IEC 60870-5-1 and IEC 60870-5-2. The frame format is FT1.2.

11.1.5 EN 13757-4: The physical and the link layer of the wireless M-Bus profile

The physical and the data link layers for wireless data exchange are specified in EN 13757-
4. Three modes of operation are available:

• “Stationary mode", mode S, intended for unidirectional or bi-directional


communications between stationary or mobile devices: The S1 mode provides one-
way and the S2 mode provides two-way communication. The S2 mode is compatible
with KONNEX.

• "Frequent transmit mode", mode T. In this mode, the meter transmits a very short
frame (typically 2 ms to 5 ms) every few seconds thus allowing walk-by and/or drive-
by readout. There are two sub-modes:

• Transmit only sub-mode T1. It is the minimal transmission of a meter ID plus a


readout value, which is sent periodically or stochastically.

• The bi-directional sub-mode T2 transmits frequently a short frame containing at least


its ID and then waits for a very short period after each transmission for the reception
of an acknowledge. Reception of an acknowledge will open a bi-directional
communication channel.

• "Frequent receive mode", mode R2. In this mode, the meter listens every few
seconds for the reception of a wakeup message from a mobile transceiver. After
receiving such a wakeup, the device will prepare for a few seconds of communication
dialog with the initiating transceiver. In this mode a “multi-channel receive mode”

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allows simultaneous readout of several meters, each one operating on a different


frequency channel.

• The link layer is also based on IEC 60870-5-1 and IEC 60870-5-2 with format class
FT3. The frame formats depend on the mode.

The baud rates are the following:

• T: 67/16 kBaud;

• S: 16/16 kBaud

• R: 2.4 / 2.4 kBaud.

An M-Bus device may support one, several or all modes.

The M-Bus wireless protocol is optimised for power consumption and low cost. A battery life
of 14 years and a BOM of <1 € is claimed.

11.1.6 EN 13757-5: M-Bus wireless relaying

EN 13757-5 specifies relaying for wireless networks, to extend the action radius of the radio
signal. The following modes are specified:

• Mode P, using routers,

• Mode R2, protocol using gateways;

• Mode Q, protocol supporting precision timing. This mode allows using


DLMS/COSEM.

11.1.7 EN 13757-6: The physical layer for local bus

This is an alternative to M-Bus. It is intended for small systems with up to 5 meters, which
can be read by a battery operated master. The total cable length is max 50 m. The bus has
to be switched on before data exchange.

11.1.8 EN 13757-3: The M-Bus dedicated Application layer

The M-Bus dedicated Application layer is specified in EN 13757-3.

All application data are encoded in the bits and bytes of the M-Bus telegrams, carried by the
data link layer. An M-Bus telegram contains the following information:

• the CI field identifies the type of the telegram: e.g. master to slave, slave to master,
lower layer management information. A range of CI fields are reserved for DLMS
based applications;

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• the Data header, which can be 12, 4 or 0 bytes long: the 12 bytes “long” header
identifies the device, the device type – e.g. gas, heat, water etc. meters – basic
status information and encryption information;

• the Variable Data Blocks: A VDB consists of the Data Information Block (DIB), the
Value Information Block (VIB) and the Data:

o The DIB consists of one or more Data Information Fields (DIF). The DIF
identifies the data type, the function (instantaneous, minimum, maximum,
during error) and whether the data is current and historical. Extensions are
available to identify storage numbers (identifiers of historical data), tariffs and
sub-units within a physical device;

o The VIB consist of one or more Data Information Fields (VIF). Primary VIFs
identify the kind of data: energy, average, instantaneous parameter, the unit
and the scaler. VIF extensions are available to further precise the
identification.

o The Data field carries the data identified by the DIB and the VIB.

• manufacturer specific data.

The DIB and VIB serve roughly the same purpose as the OBIS codes specified in IEC
62056-61 (electricity) and EN 13757-1 (other than electricity). It should be possible to map
the M-Bus identifiers to OBIS codes.

11.1.9 Data security

M-Bus supports data security by encrypting the M-Bus telegrams, using the DES standard,
and more recently, the AES standard. Authentication is not supported.

11.1.10 Data exchange between devices using DLMS/COSEM and M-Bus: the Dutch
project

This possibility is the result of the Dutch Smart metering project and it is specified in the
DLMS UA Blue Book Edition 9.

DLMS/COSEM devices, e.g. electricity meter can be set up, using the appropriate interface
classes, as M-Bus clients (M-Bus masters) to exchange data with M-Bus slaves, e.g. gas,
water, and heat meters. The M-Bus client can retrieve data form M-Bus masters and store
these data in COSEM objects. It can also send commands to the M-Bus slave devices.

For wireless systems, the T1 and the T2 mode are used. For simple meters, Mode T1 is
used. The meters (M-Bus slaves) send their data at regular intervals to the electricity meter (
M-Bus master). For more complex meters, Mode T2 is used providing two way data
exchange. This allows sending command to the M-Bus slaves to set the date and time and
for example actuating a gas valve.

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The data collected are stored in COSEM objects and can be collected by the Data Collecting
System. Whereas EN 13757-3 specifies only DES encryption, the DSMR specification
specifies AES.

The DSMR specification contains a number of extensions and deviations to the EN 13757
M-Bus standards. Some application supported:

• scan and install new M-Bus slaves;

• send operational encryption key;

• read / receive M-bus meter registers: hourly or real time values;

• set date and time in M-Bus slave;

• command M-Bus gas meter valve.

11.1.11 Evolution of M-Bus in the German OMS specification

In the German OMS specification there are the following evolutions for the M-Bus:

• Improvement of the Encryption/Decryption/Verification process. AES encryption is


used including unique key definition

• Improvement of the bidirectional communication

• Substantiation of the relaying function (/-5 Standard)

• Conversion Table from DIF/VIF to OBIS

All points will go to TC294. The harmonisation process to NTA is started.

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12 COPYRIGHT
“Copyright and Reprint Permissions. You may freely reproduce all or part of this paper
for non-commercial purposes, provided that the following conditions are fulfilled: (i) to
cite the authors, as the copyright owners (ii) to cite the OPEN meter Project and
mention that the European Commission co-finances it, by means of including this
statement “OPEN meter. Energy Project No 226369. Funded by EC” and (iii) not to
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