Utilities have leveraged smart metering networks for a multitude of non-meter applications for years now—but as their needs evolve and grow, a public or private LTE-based network will provide a more robust platform. Smart street lighting, smart grid management functions, and smart city applications are all areas where utilities are now eager to improve their capabilities. And while smart metering networks can handle some incremental use cases, utilities interested in taking a longer-term view of their networking needs at the grid edge should consider a more holistic, future-ready network.
The LTE family of protocols—including Narrowband IoT, LTE Cat M1, LTE Cat 1, and 4G LTE—offers a range of capabilities in a complementary fashion. They also form the foundation for emerging 5G networks, ensuring that as new solutions and use cases emerge, the utility network remains core to utility digitalization and transformation.