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Wireless Smart Grid Communications: A Mesh Versus Point-to-Multipoint Comparison

Two Approaches to Wireless Utility Communications: What Works Best for AMR, AMI, DA and SCADA?

Utilities have discovered the benefits of wireless communications and now deploy them widely for Automated Meter Reading (AMR), Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Distribution Automation (DA) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). Two approaches have come to dominate the industry among electric, water and gas service providers seeking a backbone for their smart grid communications: (1) privately licensed spectrum signals carried over a point-to-multipoint network architecture, and (2) publicly available spectrum signals carried over a mesh network architecture.

There are advantages and disadvantages to the two topographies and this paper will consider them as they can be applied to meet the needs of four important types of mission-critical utility communications: AMR, AMI, DA and SCADA.

In this paper, you will learn:

  • The different network architectural approaches between Mesh and Point-to-Multipoint;
  • How privacy, range, latency and bandwidth requirements differ between networks; and
  • The top evaluative criteria for determining utility communications applications.

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