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October 04, 2011

Telit Wireless Launches Low-Power, Long-Range AMR Platform for Europe
By Cheryl Kaften
TMCnet Contributor

This month, Morrisville, North Carolina-based Telit Wireless (News - Alert) Solutions, Inc., a leader in machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, will launch a new module featuring Wireless M-Bus (“Meter-Bus”) transfer technology—a radio variant of the European standard for remote reading of smart meters inside buildings.  

The product has been specifically tailored for Advanced Meter Reading (AMR), with an extremely low output power of 25 milliwatts (mW) and long-range reception using the 169 MHz radio spectrum band. The 169 MHz band provides much higher performance in terms of range than 868 MHz, or even 433 MHz.

Telit’s ME50-169 modules automatically transmit consumption data to the utility companies, which:

  • Increases the accuracy and transparency of bills,
  • Offers better customer service, and
  • Helps improve energy efficiency.

The new smart metering device comes ready to use: The data from individual meters are transferred to a concentrator on-site, which collates and transfers the data to the utility via GSM/GPRS (Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Service).  The ME50-169 modules are fully compatible with Telit’s gateway solution, the GG863-SR, which integrates short-range and GSM/GPRS capabilities.

The M-Bus modules with LGA (Land Grid Array) mounting technology are the first product releases on the market with 25 mW output power, which assure extreme low power consumption — ideal to satisfy smart metering power consumption requirements. In addition, the ME50-169 is equipped with an embedded low-power ATMEL ATX microcontroller. Therefore, the modules can be easily integrated into various systems, reducing time to market and project costs.

The modules, which are equipped with the SR (Service Request) tool platform, help reduce valuable development time. This platform is providing additional features such as OTA SW (over-the-air software) and a customized solution on demand for network deployment and management. The ME50-169 is pin-to-pin compatible with the Telit modules in the ZE (ZigBee 2007 and protocol stack), NE (Mesh low power) and LE (basic point to point, broadcast stack) families.

“The new ME50-169 is another proof of Telit’s commitment to the smart metering market, providing a ready-to-use solution for a matchless time-to-market and complementary offerings. This enables customers to cover all the requirements of a Wireless M-Bus smart metering projects easily,” said CEO Tony Spizzichino of Telit RF Technologies.

“The combination of short-range and cellular capabilities is the key technology for future M2M applications: Companies using short range can use … free data transmission via radio frequencies and don’t have to buy expensive SIM-cards”, commented Dominikus Hierl, CMO at Telit Wireless Solutions. “Companies now using Telit’s gateway solution with the new ME50-169 to combine their short range with cellular data transmission can fully overcome the short range limitations. Such integration provides companies a crucial solution at low costs and energy efficiency to meet all customer requirements.Smart metering is rolling out in Australia, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, North America and the United Kingdom. In Germany, from 2010 onward, new buildings must be equipped with smart meters — and beginning in 2018, this requirement will apply to all buildings. In the United Kingdom, the government has launched a smart metering project that will deploy one million GPRS-connected gas meters by 2020.

Cheryl Kaften is an accomplished communicator who has written for consumer and corporate audiences. She has worked extensively for MasterCard (News - Alert) Worldwide, Philip Morris USA (Altria), and KPMG, and has consulted for Estee Lauder and the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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