Itron's water meter deal and 2014 results

Itron launches 4G LTE smart meterEnergy solutions company Itron has launched a 4G LTE smart metering solution, which will be available on the market by the end of this quarter.

Using 4G LTE technology, the OpenWay CENTRON meter is capable of high-speeds with broad territory coverage and low latency, said the Washington DC-based company in a statement.

The latest addition to Itron's cellular range is part of its OpenWay smart grid solution, giving energy companies the option to deploy any combination of cellular and RF mesh communications, including 4G LTE, under the same network management system.

Wireless communication network

The smart meter solution includes an LTE modem from Sierra Wireless and uses the Verizon's wireless 4G LTE network, which covers 97% of US consumers.

Commenting on the tie-up with Itron, Michael Brander, managing director, energy and utilities practice, at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said: “By enabling Itron’s OpenWay CENTRON 4G LTE smart meter to run on Verizon’s 4G LTE and intelligent IP networks, we are helping to make the electric grid the smart grid of tomorrow.

“Collaborating with companies like Itron to enable the possibilities of the smart grid is yet another step in how the industry is moving the internet of things forward.”

The new communication channel - 4G LTE - is useful for hard-to-reach locations or territories.

Due to the low latency of the network, the new solution is also a good option for DA/SCADA applications or utilizing smart meters as grid sensors to monitor distribution system conditions, Itron said.

Smart energy award

The news comes as Itron was given the 2014 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Company of the Year.

The gong, based on analysis of the Smart City market, was given for Itron's consistent diversification to address changing market needs and market year-on-year growth.