On April 26th, the first smart meter reading over ‘white space’ was demonstrated in the UK by Bglobal, smart energy provider and Neul, a technology provider.
The meter reading was carried out over a distance of 1km, using the previously unused ‘white space’, which is the frequency no longer used by television channels since the digital switchover from analog TV.
Neul has deployed what it believes to be the world’s first city-wide, fully functional wireless network in white space in Cambridge.
“The use of ‘white space’ to collect meter readings could potentially revolutionize the nationwide rollout of smart metering, as it breaks down one of the key barriers – that of communicating with meters in rural areas or other areas poorly served by cellular or wired broadband connections,” commented Aaron Forshaw, solution architect for Bglobal. “The trial has shown that ‘white space’ can have a highly significant role to play in any smart meter program.”
The network builds upon the completion of the first phase of the Cambridge White Space Consortium’s network. Phase one used Neul’s equipment and cloud interface together with the weightless communications standard, to prove that the white space network co-exists with televisions and wireless microphones with interference or disruption.
Commercial trials are later this year, with a full roll-out anticipated in 2013.
The Weightless standard is a proposed open wireless technology for white space data exchange that can be embedded in electricity and gas meters as well as other devices such as air quality sensors, recycling points, street lighting, parking spaces, traffic lights, etc.
In addition to the smart grid, the network offers several opportunities for the future smart city, giving smarter transport and traffic management, city lighting and other municipal services.