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This paper covers the research activities in the framework of the European project DLC+VIT4IP. The focus of the project is the design, test and verification in the field trials of the high speed narrowband PLC systems, which should overcome the challenges and fulfill the requirements imposed by different smart grid applications; such as smart metering, SCADA, demand side managements, etc. After describing the main milestones of the project the paper gives an overview about the simulation used for the system evaluation during the development phase. We show also the current activities, which are focusing on the selection and the design of field trials. For the evaluation of the developed system on the site, a test tool and set of test procedures have been designed.