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Building Wireless Communication Networks

By Phill Feltham

Building wireless communication networks: How utilities can implement a strategy for success

BY TONY MILONE, FreeWave Technologies

Piecing together the ideal communication network is a challenge for any electric power application. As all power professionals know, planning, research and trial is key to implementing any successful project. This issue’s Smart Grid Solutions offers a quick guide to assist with initial planning and research initiatives to construct a wireless data communication network.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER >> Latency: Time delay in receiving complete data from point A to point B >> Throughput: Amount of data needed to be transported atany given time >> Coverage: Capability of the system to cover the required service territory >> Frequency: Considerations of spectrum use, availability, interference, propagation, regulations and other concerns of spectrum utilization >> Protocol and Connection: Physical connection and data language needed to communicate with the end device >> Direction: One way or bi-directional monitoring and control >> Quality: Equipment’s capability for critical purpose monitoring >> Scalability: Ability to expand for future growth and capability to support future technology >> Security: The ability to prevent unauthorized use of the system or its data >> Reliability and Availability: Ability of a system to perform its required functions under stated conditions for a specified period of time >> Support: Vendor’s reputation, willingness, availability and resources to provide assistance to users >> Cost: The cost of installing, operating and maintaining the system

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