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[January 31, 2013]
Itron and Qualcomm collaborate on 3G cellular platform
Jan 31, 2013 (Datamonitor via COMTEX) -- Itron, Inc., a provider of smart metering solutions to electric, natural gas, and water utilities, has announced collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, on a next-generation smart energy platform that leverages cellular technology through the use of Qualcomm's Gobi MDM8x15 chipset offered by Qualcomm Technologies.
According to the company, the new platform will combine Itron's OpenWay smart meters with Qualcomm Technologies' Gobi MDM8x15 multi-mode modem and integrated application processor, enabling a streamlined solution. These advantages combine to enable emerging smart energy applications that require greater amounts of granular data such as distribution automation, demand response, distributed generation, pre-paid metering, electric vehicle integration and Volt/Var monitoring.
The cellular solution will enable utilities to strategically deploy their smart grid devices regardless of their service territory geography - as a standalone solution, for in-fill coverage gaps or in combination with other access technologies. Cellular allows utilities to strategically and rapidly deploy meters, grid devices and sensors on commercially available cellular IP networks, the company said.
"This collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies is very significant for Itron," said Russ Vanos, senior vice president of strategy and business development at Itron. "When we acquired SmartSynch, we recognized the growing importance of 3G cellular for smart grid deployments. Now, we have taken the next logical step in working strategically with Qualcomm Technologies so that we can stay at the forefront of cellular developments, utilize the smartphone ecosystem and its capabilities and scale for the smart grid. It also helps ensure that Itron continues to offer our customers a broad portfolio of integrated communication options." "We are planning to introduce to the smart energy space similar technologies that we have brought to today's leading mobile and computing devices, helping to extend our vision for the 'Internet of Everything,'" said Kanwalinder Singh, senior vice president of business development, Qualcomm Technologies. "Itron is a leader in software, services and communications for the smart grid with OpenWay. The Gobi platform will host OpenWay applications and make them globally deployable on 3G networks with migration to LTE and backward compatibility to 2G. We are excited about working with Itron, and, through our Gobi 3G multi-mode chipsets, to helping enable Itron to meet the evolving needs of global utilities with cellular technologies."
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