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WiGRID - Utility Private Network

I am a Utility looking to partner with a current WiMAX Operator or build my own Smart Grid network.

So you represent a Utility company, and are trying to understand if WiMAX (or WiGRID*) is in any way a fit for your organization’s Smart Grid needs. Great! The WiMAX Forum can help. WiMAX technology is a mature, economical, and versatile way to add wireless broadband power to your Smart Grid network. Utilities all across the world are already using WiMAX in a variety of ways, and many of them are represented in our organization’s membership. Here are some of the ways in which Utilities can benefit from WiMAX

  • Partner with an incumbent WiMAX operator: In many countries Utilities do not have allocated spectrum but are still interested in adding intelligence to their grid networks. Many of these utilities are already looking to partner with telecommunications providers to get the network they need. In these cases a WiMAX operator can be an excellent partner. For an example, please see the following case study on UQ Communications in Japan, one of the largest and most sophisticated WiMAX operators in the world. As of April, 2013, UQ Communications counts over 4 million subscribers to its credit and has over 60 MVNO partners. UQC is currently working with Kyushu Electric Power Company to power their Smart Meters. To learn more, please download the following presentation.
  • Build a private end-to-end WiMAX Smart Grid Network: WiMAX is a powerful, mature technology capable of delivering services directly to a WiMAX embedded meter. This is a large private network build that will give your organization the bandwidth, security, QoS and configuration it needs to revolutionize its operations. An excellent example of a WiMAX-to-the-meter network is SP AusNet from Australia. SP Ausnet currently has over 780,000 WiMAX embedded meters, and is continuing to expand its network. To learn more, please download the following case study.
  • Add WiMAX technology to a multi-technology Smart Grid network: Not all Smart Grid networks will be single technology networks; in fact, very few will be. For utilities with multi-technology plans, WiMAX technology is an excellent tool to have in your kit. A strong example of how WiMAX fits into a larger Smart Grid network is BC Hydro, one of the largest power utilities in Canada. To learn more, please download the following case study.

The WiMAX Forum has more case studies available. To see more, please visit our Case Study archive.

How can the WiMAX Forum help your organization?

The WiMAX Forum is ready to help its membership by making connections through its extensive member and business network; contributing to the growth of the industry through standards development; and aiding with regulatory challenges.

Within the WiMAX Forum’s organizational structure is a specific body for solving problems in the Smart Grid industry: The Smart Energy Working Group. The Smart Energy Working Group (SEWG) acts as a focal point for Utility interest in WiMAX as a technology for Smart Grid Applications, and will promote WiMAX as the premiere technology for Smart Grid Applications on a global basis by defining utility requirements and technology profiles that drive the network and air interface specifications and certification for WiMAX networks and products to ensure the development of a healthy eco-system of interoperable Smart Grid centric product solutions.

The Smart Energy Working Group provides coordinated input from the Utility and Energy Industries to other Working Groups and the WiMAX Forum Board. Participation is open to all WiMAX Forum Members. SEWG is the single source for coordinated recommendations and requirements that drive WiMAX Specifications. SEWG provides marketing support to position WiMAX in the Utility Industry and maximize participation in this market segment.

To participate in the Smart Energy Working Group and enjoy the other benefits of working with us, join the WiMAX Forum today!

*What is WiGRID Anyway? How is it different from WiMAX?

WiGRIDTM is an optimized IEEE 802.16 profile for Utility Field Area Networking applications. It was written by the WiMAX Forum’s Smart Energy Working Group, which is composed of technical representatives from major electric power utilities, WiMAX vendors and industry experts. The proposed WiGRID System profile is an Ethernet version of IEEE 802.16 that includes numerous new features that allow uplink centric data communications, lower latency, extended range, and enables the use of new frequency bands that various Utilities hold, namely 1.4 GHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.65 GHz and 5.8 GHz.

Here is some more information about what WiGRID IS:

  • WiGRID is a NEW WiMAX FORUM TECHNOLOGY based IEEE 802.16e for Utilities and Industrial applications.
  • WiGRID is an ETHERNET technology designed for wide-area networking, primarily for Layer 2 networking.
  • WiGRID is optimized for FIXED applications, but can also support Nomadic and mobility (if needed).
  • WiGRID is designed to support UPLINK CENTRIC or SYMMETRIC applications.
  • WiGRID COMPLEMENTS M2M Cellular technologies, designed as another wide-area “networking tool.” Does not displace or compete with majority of M2M usage.
  • WiGRID LEVERAGES THE GLOBAL WIMAX ECOSYSTEM, and takes advantage of the mass market mature device and base station silicon.

And to further clarify, here is what WiGRID IS NOT:

  • A cellular M2M technology
  • A Mobile technology
  • Designed for smartphones and tablets
  • A replacement for Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and other complementary technologies
  • Another version of Mobile WiMAX (802.16e)
  • A competitor with LTE for utilities

For more information on WiMAX and WiGRID for utilities, please download this presentation on WiMAX for Smart Grid.