Aclara unveils LTE cellular network for utility connectivity at DistribuTECH

Aclara Technologies LLC, a supplier of smart infrastructure technologies to water, gas, and electric utilities globally, introduces Metrum LTE, the company's latest in a product line designed to bring cellular connectivity to meters and other devices on utility networks. The company is showcasing the new technology at DistribuTECH 2015 (Booth #2130), taking place this week at the San Diego Convention Center.

Built on 4G LTE, Metrum LTE is an IP-enabled solution that leverages existing infrastructure investments, providing utilities with private, high-speed and secure networks using their own public key infrastructures. Metrum LTE makes existing devices more effective, with reliable and secure data transmissions that are communications-protocol neutral.

It allows direct communications to SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) devices, as well as commercial and residential meters, and enables utilities to do more on their networks, such as reconfiguring meters over the air.

Metrum LTE combines with Aclara's iiDEAS platform to provide smart grid applications including AMI, outage and restoration management, conservation voltage reduction, volt/Var optimization, and fault detection and location.

"The launch of Metrum LTE continues our introduction of technology advancements to enable a true smart infrastructure environment for utilities around the country, and allows our customers to extend the value of their infrastructure investments," said Allan Connolly, president and CEO of Aclara.

"With Metrum LTE, Aclara is delivering a highly robust solution that not only satisfies today's requirements for AMI and distribution automation, but also has the network capacity to accommodate future requirements without the need to build or add extensive and expensive infrastructure," said Mark Thompson, senior director of new product introduction.

Metrum LTE offers an array of benefits, including:

·      Ease of deployment. Metrum LTE is easy to install and requires no additional infrastructure. Plug-and-play deployment eliminates the need for field configuration. This makes Metrum LTE devices ideal for high-value applications where large amounts of data must be collected in real time. Another feature is that upgrades to firmware for Metrum LTE modules and all connected devices can be made over-the-air.

·      Security. Metrum LTE provides a new level of security for the distribution network, enabling utilities to create private networks on their public key infrastructures. Secure connections provide a fully secure end-to-end communications solution. Each device is provisioned with a private, static IP address that is not visible or routable from the public Internet. In addition, the embedded X.509 certificates in the connected devices can be exchanged or upgraded over the air. Metrum LTE conforms to NERC CIP & NISTIR 7628 guidelines.

·      Standards-based technology. Metrum LTE enables TCP/IP connectivity to every end-point device and it supports full two-way, near real-time communications with devices. In addition, Metrum LTE modules are protocol and meter agnostic.

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