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Investigating implementation of communication networks for advanced metering infrastructure in South Africa

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3 Author(s)
Nthontho, M. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Univ. of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa ; Chowdhury, S.P. ; Winberg, S.

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is a relatively new field in South Africa. The first standard to govern the envisaged AMI implementation was released in 2008 in NRS 049 document. This paper reports on the investigation of supporting communication networks for AMI. There are several approaches that the South African utilities (Eskom and Municipalities) can follow to implement AMI communication networks. Two broad options are constructing their own private network or connecting with existing network service providers. The communication networks can either use wired or wireless media technologies. They can use mobile broadband networks for a wireless wide area network. Moreover, they can build on and use their legacy optic fibre and PLC networks used for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) application. This paper investigates both wired and wireless technologies that can be considered. Furthermore, it discusses different factors such as bandwidth capacity that would influence the approach chosen.

Published in:

Kaleidoscope 2011: The Fully Networked Human? - Innovations for Future Networks and Services (K-2011), Proceedings of ITU

Date of Conference:

12-14 Dec. 2011