Grid Net Taps LTE to Rev Up Smart Grid

Traditionally WiMax-focused smart grid software vendor adds support for LTE, which it says will become more common in the smart grid

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

December 6, 2010

2 Min Read
Grid Net Taps LTE to Rev Up Smart Grid

Smart grid software vendor Grid Net Inc. is looking to distance itself from its WiMax roots as it adds support for Long Term Evolution (LTE) in its PolicyNet smart-grid network management software.

PolicyNet also supports Ethernet, FTTH, 3G HSPA or EV-DO, ZigBee, HomePlug, and WiMax, which has been its major focus since 2009.

According to Andres Carvallo, Grid Net's EVP and chief strategy officer, LTE won't supplant WiMax for the smart grid, but utilities relying on "4G" networks and partnerships with wireless operators in general will become more common going forward.

GridNet says that the all-IP flat network architecture of LTE, like WiMax, makes it well-suited for use by electric utilities and public safety agencies. It has been working on LTE software, firmware, and hardware design technology for the past two years in preparation for global LTE launches.

Why this matters
Grid Net has historically pitched itself as device- and network-agnostic, but it has some major WiMax players on its customer roster, including Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S).

Carvallo says that WiMax is already well entrenched in markets outside the US, including in Australia, where Grid Net works with several customers. The US, however, is quickly becoming an LTE-dominated region. He sees utilities looking to partner with several wireless operators for a hybrid approach that includes multiple standards, depending on the region. (See Sprint Pushes WiMax on the Smart Grid and Grid Net Uses Sprint for Smart Grid.)

Either way, the good news for the wireless operators, who are keen on getting involved in the smart grid, is that utilities are warming up to the idea as well. As more operators deploy LTE, their low-latency, high-bandwidth networks should look more attractive to utilities.

Grid Net has three LTE smart-grid partnerships in the works, but isn't naming any names just yet.

For more
For more on network infrastructure for the smart grid, check out the following stories:

  • AirSpan Does Smart Grid

  • Airspan Uses LightSquared for Smart Grid

  • Verizon Talks Smart Grid

  • Cisco Tailors Router & Switch for Smart Grid

  • D Telekom Teams on Smart Grid

  • Cisco Invests in Grid Net

  • Verizon Plugs In Current for Smart Grid Service

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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