The New Application Note on Range Calculations and Test is Here

Radiocrafts AS, a leading provider of RF modules today presented a long range LPWAN solution for IoT applications based on an ultra-narrowband radio at 169 MHz.

Radiocrafts offer a solution that covers 40 km2 in a real urban range test with a 169 MHz RF module (RC1701HP-MBUS4), showing the benefits of an ultra-narrowband 169 MHz star network for LPWAN applications.

Many range tests in the wireless industry takes advantage of high rise mountains, warm air balloons and similar, achieving very impressive range numbers. This is a way to show relative performance between different technologies, but has little in common with the actual range that can be achieved in a real life use case.

Radiocrafts has issued an Application Note, AN021, to provide real data that can be used for real use cases at 868 and 169 MHz. Three cases are shown, an indoor building, a mountain peak to peak (rural) and a real city (urban environment). As expected, the mountain peak to peak (Line of Sight) shows very good range data and the indoor building shows that the indoor performance has little in common with the line of sight measurement.

A very interesting measurement is the 169 MHz case with standard antennas and a commercially available RF module from Radiocrafts that shows that 3.5 km distance is achieved in a downtown Oslo measurement. This means that a 169 MHz star network with low cost components can be used to cover a 40 km2 circular area in a downtown environment with a very basic star network.

The range advantage of 169 MHz and the fact that it is license free in Europe makes it an ideal alternative to other LPWAN solutions for IoT applications. The low complexity of a 169 MHz network based on Radiocrafts RF modules makes it very easy to set-up with a very competitive cost.

The Top 5 Questions on Wireless Technologies for AMR

Given your AMR application, which wireless technologies/protocols/standards make the most sense? There are a number of considerations to factor into your decision: Is the meter located below grade, or in another radio-hostile location? Is the meter battery-powered? Do you want to communicate to an in-house display, a walk- or drive-by reader, or to a fixed network? What protocols are other local utilities using…and why?

1. What wireless technologies are used for AMR?

There are several different wireless technologies used for AMR (automatic meter reading) systems in the world today, based on the specific needs, availability of power (battery driven or not), local radio regulations, density of meters, how often meters need to be read, the infrastructure, etc. Some radio networks are based on proprietary communication protocols, and others are based on industry standards. Among the standardized protocols we find Wireless M-Bus, and 6LoWPAN-based solutions such as Wi-SUN.

Wireless M-Bus is developed for battery-operated meters, such as water, gas and heat (heat cost allocators). It has always had a big emphasis on low-power operation. Later the Wireless M-Bus standard was extended to include communication on 169 MHz. This frequency has improved the range and reliability for reading water meters that are located in basements or pits, or gas meters in steel cabinets; in other words, not so radio-friendly environments. Narrowband operation at 169 MHz is a robust solution for almost any harsh environments.

6LoWPAN is a newer technology that enables IPv6 communication all the way to the end node. Due to a relatively high power consumption, it is used for electricity meters but not for water and gas. ZigBee IP and Wi-SUN are examples of protocols that? use 6LoWPAN as part of their protocol stack.

Radiocrafts offers solutions within all these technologies, and more information can be found on our product pages. Wireless M-Bus is supported by the MBUS3, MBUS4 and MPC1 products. The ZigBee protocol is supported by the ZNM products. And 6LoWPAN protocols can be run on the IEEE 802.15.4 platforms.

2. What is the most commonly used wireless technology used in Europe for AMR?

The most commonly used wireless technology in Europe for meter reading is Wireless M-Bus. The installation base is tens of millions. The first solutions used mode S and T on 868 MHz. These have later been complemented with mode C, also at 868 MHz, optimizing current consumption and thereby enabling drive-by reading which require? more frequent transmissions. Mode N using ultra-narrowband technology at 169 MHz is growing in popularity due to its long range and robust operation even in radio-challenging environments typically seen by water and gas meters. Radiocrafts has a leading role in the standardization of narrowband technology at 169 MHz in CEN, which publishes the EN 13757-4 norm.

3. What is Wireless M-Bus?

Wireless M-Bus is a European Norm for utility meter communication. It is standardized in EN13757-4. This radio protocol is widely used for electricity, gas, water, heat meters and heat cost allocators. Wireless M-Bus also supports other types of environmental sensors. Together with the rest of the EN 13757 standard series, Wireless M-Bus makes up a complete protocol stack with security mechanisms and definition of data formatting for the application layer.

The Wireless M-Bus standard is optimized for battery operation, targeting battery lifetimes of 15 – 20 years, and thereby reducing the operational cost of the meter reading system. The low-power consumption is due to the “bubble up” strategy for meter data: the meter listens for commands in a short time window after the transmission. This means the transceiver can be in sleep mode most of the time, saving power. This is further supported by very small overhead in the frame format and efficient data coding.

The standard has taken advantage of the new frequency band at 169 MHz to make a narrow-band solution using 12.5 kHz channels. The relatively low frequency (VHF band) and the narrow bandwidth give very long communication range and robustness in difficult radio environments. This is particularly important for reaching water and gas meters.

4. What solution should I use for battery-operated meters, such as for water, gas and heat?

The preferred solution for battery-operated meters is Wireless M-Bus. For in-house communication between meter and a local concentrator, mode T and C at 868 MHz are most commonly used. For longer range communication with a central concentrator, mode N at 169 MHz is preferred. Radiocrafts supports these standards with the MBUS3 and MBUS4 protocols. The MPC1 (M-Bus Pulse Counter) is a complete implementation of an autonomous pulse counter that can directly interface any mechanical meter with pulse output.

5. What solution should I use for electricity meter reading?

Electricity meters with constant access to power (and back-up battery during black-outs) may use mesh protocols to extend the network coverage. Radiocrafts offers Tinymesh, ZigBee and 6LoWPAN solutions .
Battery-operated meters can be used together with a mesh, but these nodes will not take part in the forwarding of messages in the mesh. Tinymesh is a low-cost mesh solution that can operate on any frequency band set by local regulations. It will carry different application protocols transparently, interfacing with the meter through a UART interface. Multiple gateways can be added as the network grows.
ZigBee networks are mostly used for in-house communication. The ZNM (ZigBee Network Module) and ZNM-SE (Smart Energy profile) are easy-to-use solutions offering the complete ZigBee stack in a module with API interface. 6LoWPAN is a standard for how to compress IPv6 packets to fit into a IEEE 802.15.4 radio packet. ZigBee IP and Wi-SUN use this technique, and can run on our IEEE 802.15.4 platforms.


As you can see, there are many factors to take into consideration before settling on one wireless AMR protocol over another. Radiocrafts is eager to help you design a robust wireless AMR system that serves all of your network needs — and minimising the long-term cost of the system. With tens of millions of field-proven module installations, our application engineers are uniquely qualified to take you through the entire AMR design process. Start the conversation today!

Radiocrafts announces new Sales and Marketing Director

Radiocrafts AS, a leading provider of RF modules today announces the appointment of Anders Oldebäck as our new Sales & Marketing Director. Anders has an extensive background in component sales and marketing, having spent 25 years within various sales and marketing functions at international and local hi-tech companies. He most recently comes from Atmel (Microchip), and before that Texas Instruments. Peder Martin Evjen, Managing Director commented, “We are delighted to welcome Anders to Radiocrafts as we are growing and becoming a faster and more commercially aware organization. Anders’ strong commercial expertise and technical understanding will complement our current skill set, especially as we expand our success in the AMR markets into new ventures.
For further information please contact Radiocrafts AS:
Tel: +47 4000 5195, email:

Radiocrafts and Tiny Mesh increase presence in India

Radiocrafts AS and Tiny Mesh AS, a leading provider of wireless mesh network protocol and cloud services, announced today they have established a joint venture sales company in India.

After joint success in the Indian market with compact RF modules for Smart Meter applications based on Tinymesh network technology, the companies are increasing their local presence in India by setting up a local sales office.

The new company, Tinymesh Radiocrafts India LLP, is headed by Mr. Jasmeet Singh. Mr. Singh has long experience from sales and business development in the semiconductor industry, and received an MBA degree from Indian School of Business in 2014, and has a Bachelor degree in Electronics from 2007.

The local office is based in Delhi, and will cover all regions.

See the press release for more information.

Announcing SIGFOX RF module for IoT applications

Radiocrafts AS announced today a SIGFOX Ready™ radio module for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The new compact RF module has been certified to assure optimal connectivity performance on the SIGFOX global network.

The combination of Radiocrafts’ SIGFOX-certified module with SIGFOX’s global network offers low-cost, low-power and out-of-the-box wireless connectivity for a wide array of IoT applications.

Currently operating or being deployed in the U.S. and 10 European countries and registering 5 million devices, SIGFOX’s network is the only IoT-dedicated connectivity solution commercially available that guarantees a high level of service and reliability. Its easily integrated solution enables years-to-decades of battery life for connected devices in all business and industry sectors.

Based on ultra-narrowband (UNB) technology, the new Radiocrafts module ensures full compatibility with the SIGFOX network, and has achieved best-in-class designation for receiver sensitivity and range.

See the press release for more information.

Radiocrafts wins major smart metering contracts in India

Radiocrafts AS announced today it has been awarded two major contracts in the smart metering market in India. Two leading electricity meter manufacturers in India have chosen a wireless meter reading solution from Radiocrafts.

The cost competitive wireless mesh network module has been developed together with Tiny
Mesh AS, a Norwegian based software development company providing mesh radio protocols
and cloud services. The multi-hop, self-configuring and self-healing mesh networking protocol is
integrated in a compact RF module of only 12.7 x 25.4 mm, showing an unmatched combination
of performance and cost. By adding this module to the utility meter, a two-way radio link is
established to cover all utility meters in an area, at a minimal cost. Gateways connect the
network to the internet for cloud based data storage.

See the press release for more information.

Radiocrafts announces narrowband RF modules for industrial market

Radiocrafts AS announced today a new radio module series for the industrial radio market. The RC17xxHP-RC232 module series provides narrowband radio performance combined with high output power for long range industrial applications.
The new module series covers all ISM bands below 1 GHz, including 169, 433 and 868 MHz, as well as some national bands used for application specific radio communication (444, 458, 465 MHz, etc.). The embedded RC232 radio protocol provide point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communication over an encrypted data link, and is very easy to use.
The narrowband modules operate in bandwidths down to 12.5 kHz, with temperature stabilized crystal oscillators to ensure reliable operation over the full industrial temperature range, -40 to +85 degrees Celsius. The RF output power is configurable up to 500 mW.

See the press release for more information.

Radiocrafts announces complete two-way 169 MHz Wireless M-Bus meter reading module

Radiocrafts AS announced today the new expanded feature set for the 169 MHz Wireless M-Bus module for long range Automatic Meter Reading (AMR).
The new module includes all features necessary for secure two-way communication between meter and concentrator. The module contains the industry leading Wireless M-Bus stack, supporting all physical layers, MAC layers and frame formats, transport and security layers. All critical timing for two-way communication is handled by the module, along with very low power features for extended battery lifetime.

See the press release for more information.

Current Cost partners with Radiocrafts to supply IHD’s for Smart Meters

Current Cost, the leading global manufacturer of In House Displays (IHD) and home energy
monitors, has collaborated with Radiocrafts, respected specialists and leaders in design and
manufacture of RF modules, to allow consumers to view real-time energy information from
Smart Meters.

The cooperation has resulted in IHDs being able to receive real-time consumption data from
electricity, gas, heat and water meters over multiple communication protocols. Fully working
IHDs for 868 MHz and 169 MHz Wireless M-Bus will be demonstrated at Metering Europe in
Amsterdam, October 4-6.

Radiocrafts participates actively in the European standardization work and embeds protocols
like Wireless M-Bus, ZigBee and KNX RF in high performance, high quality RF modules. When
integrated in the new range of Current Cost IHD’s, energy consumption and other useful
information including messages from the utility companies can be visualized and easily read,
with an option for access via smart phones or mobile browsers. This means that users can view
their data wherever they are, leading them to make informed choices which reduce overall
home energy consumption.

See the press release for more information.

TinyMesh RF modules with self-configuring mesh protocol for ISM bands

Radiocrafts AS introduces a new, powerful mesh network protocol operating in all sub-1 GHz and 2.4 GHz license free ISM bands. TinyMesh networks are self forming and self healing without external interaction. Due to the mesh network redundancy, TinyMesh offers superior range and reliability, with no limitations in number of gateways or addressable nodes. Compared to other mesh protocols, TinyMesh gives the shortest time to market due to its ease of use and self-configuring capabilities. TinyMesh supports transparent data communication, as well as digital I/O control, analogue inputs and
PWM outputs. Among several unique features, TinyMesh provides location information for asset
tracking, automatic battery supervision and RF signal strength information.

Safe and reliable data traffic is secured by Listen Before Talk, CRC integrity check, acknowledge and retransmission mechanisms on every data packet delivery. TinyMesh is available in Radiocrafts modules at 433, 865 and 868 MHz with optional 500 mW output power for European and Indian markets. Line-of-sight range in excess of 3 km per hop is achievable with the high power modules. TinyMesh further supports 915 MHz for North-America and 2.4 GHz with up to 100mW output power for world-wide use. TinyMesh modules are pincompatible with Radiocrafts’ world leading Wireless M-Bus and KNX RF modules.
See the press release for more information.

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