There are different wireless technologies used for AMR 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, ZigBee and 6LoWPAN-based solutions such as Wi-SUN and ZigBee IP.
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 standard was extended to include communication on 169 MHz. This has improved the range and reliability of reading water meters that are placed in basements or pits, or gas meters in steel cabinets; in general not so radio-friendly environments. Narrowband operation at 169 MHz is a robust solution for any harsh environments.
ZigBee has been used mostly for communication within a house of flat, between electricity meter, gas meter and a display (In House Display, IHD). It has been installed in the US, and in UK, but to a lesser extent in rest of Europe.
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 with use 6LoWPAN as part of their protocol stack.
Radiocrafts offer 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. ZigBee is supported by the ZNM products. And 6LoWPAN protocols can be run on the IEEE 802.15.4 platforms.
Last Update: August 8, 2017