Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) today announced a collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM), on a next-generation smart energy platform that leverages cellular technology through the use of Qualcomm’s Gobi™ MDM8x15 chipset offered by Qualcomm Technologies. The new Itron smart meters will bring greater choices to utility customers deploying smart metering solutions and further strengthen Itron’s integrated cellular offerings.
The new platform will combine Itron’s OpenWay® smart meters with Qualcomm Technologies’ Gobi MDM8x15 multi-mode modem and integrated application processor, enabling a streamlined and cost-optimized solution. With support for multiple 3G standards (UMTS/HSPA or CDMA2000), extensibility to 4G-LTE and backwards compatibility with 2G technologies, this solution will have a global footprint. These advantages combine to enable emerging smart energy applications that require greater amounts of granular data such as distribution automation, demand response, distributed generation, pre-paid metering, electric vehicle integration and Volt/Var monitoring.
The cellular solution will enable utilities to strategically deploy their smart grid devices regardless of their service territory geography - as a standalone solution, for in-fill coverage gaps or in combination with other access technologies. Cellular allows utilities to strategically and rapidly deploy meters, grid devices and sensors on commercially available cellular IP networks.
"This collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies is very significant for Itron,” said Russ Vanos, senior vice president of strategy and business development at Itron. “When we acquired SmartSynch, we recognized the growing importance of 3G cellular for smart grid deployments. Now, we have taken the next logical step in working strategically with Qualcomm Technologies so that we can stay at the forefront of cellular developments, utilize the smartphone ecosystem and its capabilities and scale for the smart grid. It also helps ensure that Itron continues to offer our customers a broad portfolio of integrated communication options."“We are planning to introduce to the smart energy space similar technologies that we have brought to today's leading mobile and computing devices, helping to extend our vision for the ‘Internet of Everything,’" said Kanwalinder Singh, senior vice president of business development, Qualcomm Technologies. "Itron is a leader in software, services and communications for the smart grid with OpenWay. The Gobi platform will host OpenWay applications and make them globally deployable on 3G networks with migration to LTE and backward compatibility to 2G. We are excited about working with Itron, and, through our Gobi 3G multi-mode chipsets, to helping enable Itron to meet the evolving needs of global utilities with cellular technologies."