Communication Technologies and Standards_IEEE.pdf

1 advantages cellular networks already exist

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1) Advantages: Cellular networks already exist. Therefore, utilities do not have to incur extra cost for building the commu- nications infrastructure required for a smart grid. Widespread and cost-effective benefits make cellular communication one of the leading communications technologies in the market. Due to data gathering at smaller intervals, a huge amount of data will be generated and the cellular networks will provide sufficient bandwidth for such applications. When security comes into dis- cussion, cellular networks are ready to secure the data transmis- sions with strong security controls. To manage healthy commu- nications with smart meters in rural or urban areas, the wide area deployment capability of smart grid becomes a key com- ponent and since the cellular networks coverage has reached al- most 100%. In addition, GSM technology performs up to 14.4 Kb/s, GPRS performs up to 170 Kb/s and they both support AMI, Demand Response, Home Area Network (HAN) applica- tions. Anonymity, authentication, signaling protection and user data protection security services are the security strengths of GSM technology [37]. Lower cost, better coverage, lower main- tenance costs, and fast installation features highlight why cel- lular networks can be the best candidate as a smart grid com- munications technology for the applications, such as demand re- sponse management, advanced metering infrastructures, HAN, outage management, etc. 2) Disadvantages: Some power grid mission-critical appli- cations need continuous availability of communications. How- ever, the services of cellular networks are shared by customer market and this may result in network congestion or decrease in network performance in emergency situations. Hence, these considerations can drive utilities to build their own private com- munications network. In abnormal situations, such as a wind storm, cellular network providers may not provide guarantee service. Compared to public networks, private networks may handle these kinds of situations better due to the usage of a va- riety of technologies and spectrum bands. D. Powerline Communication Powerline communication (PLC) is a technique that uses the existing powerlines to transmit high-speed (2–3 Mb/s) data sig- nals from one device to the other. PLC has been the first choice for communication with the electricity meter due to the direct connection with the meter [20] and successful implementations of AMI in urban areas where other solutions struggle to meet the needs of utilities. PLC systems based on the LV distribution network have been one of the research topics for smart grid ap- plications in China [22]. In a typical PLC network, smart meters are connected to the data concentrator through powerlines and data is transferred to the data center via cellular network tech- nologies. For example, any electrical device, such as a powerline smart transceiver-based meter, can be connected to the power- line and used to transmit the metering data to a central loca- tion [37]. France has launched the “Linky meter project” that
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