LTE-Based Networks Provide a More Flexible and Future-Ready Platform for Grid Management, Smart Lighting, and Smart City Applications

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”LTE-Based Networks Provide a More Flexible and Future-Ready Platform for Grid Management, Smart Lighting, and Smart City Applications”

This whitepaper highlights how smart city, small cell and smart grid solutions offer cities cost-effective and scalable applications to make them smarter, safer, and more connected.

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Introduction
For more than a decade, power utilities across the US have raced to deploy advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), also known as smart meters. Spurred by the measurable cost benefits of eliminating human meter readers and the financial incentives provided to utilities in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, nearly 65% of electric meters across the country are currently served by smart meters. Guidehouse Insights expects that penetration level will approach 90% by 2028.Introduction

The majority of this installed base uses unlicensed radio frequency (RF) mesh technologies (Chart 1), but as utilities seek to layer new capabilities on these field area networks, legacy systems designed for meter reading and billing purposes (and funded by ratepayers) are not always ideal.

To meet safety, efficiency, and resiliency goals, utilities require greater visibility and lower latency control at the grid edge more than ever before. At the same time, industry transformation and new opportunities (and threats) are making the need for more robust and flexible connectivity throughout the distribution grid clear.

This Guidehouse Insights white paper explores how grid management, smart streetlighting, and smart city applications that utilities increasingly need or wish to offer should no longer rely on legacy AMI networks for connectivity. It also explains why LTE-based wireless solutions—public or private—can provide grid edge connectivity and support a multitude of emerging functions in a more cost-effective, flexible, and future-ready manner.

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