Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

Posted on Friday, October 5, 2018 by Carsten Nielsen

Your business. Your choice.

Smart metering is often seen as one of the driving applications in the pursuit of making the Internet of Things a reality. And with a critical mass of devices distributed in the field, it is not a thing of the future – it is already here. However, while IoT is about connecting everything to the internet and to each other, utility companies should only have to worry about their own devices – the Internet of YOUR Things. That means it all starts with your needs.

A tailored infrastructure
A power utility’s communication infrastructure is the backbone of its smart metering system – because without reliable communication connecting meters and head-end system, there would be no smart grid. But an AMI infrastructure will never be an off-the-rack commodity. For a utility, the choice of a communication infrastructure is actually less about technology and more about specific business needs. 
Each of the different options present their own set of unique value propositions, e.g. full control or full flexibility, and no one communication technology is going to be able to cover all the different requirements within your supply area. Nevertheless, despite often being positioned as competing options, they are in fact highly complementary – especially considering the still somewhat undefined challenges power utilities will be facing in the future.

The choice of a communication infrastructure is actually less about technology and more about specific business needs. 

Full flexibility. Full stop
Your business needs are unlikely to be the same 10 years from now – or maybe even just a few years down the road. So how do you prepare for requirements you do not know yet? 

From the contours drawn so far of the future AMI infrastructure for electricity, we do know that flexibility and continuously high performance will be key. This includes full openness and interoperability, flexible deployment and upgrades, support for multi-utility and Smart City as well as excellent coverage in rural areas and basements.

Today though, utilities do not have to settle for either tried-and-tested radio mesh technology or putting all their eggs in the NB-IoT basket. Instead, choosing a combination of the two provides the ultimate flexibility and a safe bet for a future-proof solution that will remain a perfect fit. 

Ultimately, ‘future-proof’ is not a static condition, but rather the opposite: the promise of being able to adapt whenever the need arises.


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