Sierra Wireless
Itron has contracted Sierra Wireless to supply its HL Series modules to provide communications for smart gas meters being deployed in Europe

In North America, Canadian telecommunication company Sierra Wireless this week announced that Itron has selected its AirPrime HL Series modules to enable cellular connectivity in its latest line of smart gas meters.

According to a company statement, the communication modules will support residential smart gas meters scheduled for shipping late 2015 for deployments in Europe starting in Italy.

Sierra Wireless in smart electricity metering

Commenting on the deal, Dan Schieler, senior vice president, OEM Solutions for Sierra Wireless, said: "We are seeing significant interest from utilities in expanding smart metering from electrical grids to initiatives in gas metering as well.”

In 2014, the two companies collaborated to provide smart electrical meters worldwide.

And in late October 2015, Sierra Wireless was selected by Iskraemeco to provide its AirPrime HL Series embedded modules to enable cellular connectivity in smart metering deployments.

AirPrime HL Series modules

Metering & Smart Energy International reported that the modules using the new CF3 form factor compatible with 2G, 3G and 4G networks were selected for communication systems of Iskraemeco's smart electricity meters.

The design will be implemented in a smart metering project expected to start in the Q1 of 2016 across the Netherlands, Metering & Smart Energy International has learnt.

Mr Schieler at Sierra Wireless said the AirPrime HL Series modules are flexible and will allow AMM system providers to manufacture and deploy their devices worldwide with minimal adjustments to their manufacturing and supply processes.

Sierra Wireless cloud platform

Sierra Wireless claims that the modules are compatible with the AirVantage FOTA Edition, a Sierra Wireless cloud-based platform.

The platform allows customers to upgrade device firmware digitally for thousands of deployed devices at a time, ensuring they can stay in service for many years while maintaining security and efficiently managing operating costs.

Janez Zavasnik, communication technology manager for Iskraemeco, said the company selected the AirPrime HL series modules as they will remain fully interchangeable with future versions of the modules, including those for LTE-MTC networks when they become available.

The LTE-MTC technology is expected to provide a highly efficient cellular LPWA (Low-Power Wide Area) technology option for smart metering and smart grid applications, with lower radio-frequency complexity, significantly reduced power consumption, better in-building signal penetration, and lower costs.