IDIS Association: Selecting adequate communication technologies for a massive rollout
For IDIS, Jovan Vujasinovic
The second season of Smart Talks is dedicated to utilities and massive rollout.
Interoperability, interchangeability and communication protocol standards
This is the second part of the interview with Mr. Marko Mišmaš, G3-PLC Alliance, Strategic Steering Committee member and R&D Director at Iskraemeco. If you haven’t read the first part, you can find it here.
In the first part of the interview, Mr. Marko Mišmaš answered some questions about communication technologies. He gave us his input regarding what utilities should do when engaging in the massive rollout. We continued talking about different standards in these technologies, clean-up, and G3-PLC Alliance’s plan for the future.
Previous Blog Posts
IDIS-Selecting Adequate communication technologies Part 1 - Jovan Vujasinivic - April 2021
IDIS Webinar “Overview of Smart Metering Standards (in EU)” – Part 2, Jovan Vujasinivic - March 2021
DIS Webinar "Overview of Smart Metering Standards (in EU) - Part 1, For IDIS, Jovan Vujasinivic - February 2021
Shaping the history and the future of IDIS Association.- part 2 For Idis, Jovan Vujasinivic - November 2020
Shaping the history and the future of IDIS Association. For Idis, Jovan Vujasinivic - 18 November 2020
Elektro Gorenjska – IDIS' first experience
For IDIS, Jovan Vujasinovic - 29 October 2020
Elektro Gorenjska - from the first IDIS rollout to smart city - For IDIS, Jovan Vujasinovic - 22 October 2020
Overview of Smart Metering Standards -For IDIS, Jovan Vujasinovic 14 October 2020
Which of these technologies are currently standardized in terms of guaranteeing interoperability? What is the importance of having true interoperability (Interchangeability) in the field during a massive rollout?
There are many standards available on the market, all with certification programs. For mass rollouts, utilities should use international standards and certified products. This is the only way to prevent vendor lock-in or ending up with an obsolete system in the case of a manufacturer for any reason is no longer supporting a specific technology or country.
Interchangeability is also a very big advantage when one supplier is faced with logistic problems. With interchangeable products, another supplier can fill the gap - otherwise, your rollout would have to come to a stop.
G3-PLC Alliance has a very successful international certification program with hundreds of devices certified over the years. As a member of the G3-PLC Alliance, we are proud that G3PLC Alliance recently extended the certification program to also include the hybrid PLC and RF solution - and that major chip manufacturers are investing in it.
Which of these technologies requires a clean-up process? What is the best way to organize a clean-up during a massive rollout? How does this fit into the organization of the whole massive rollout?
Every technology requires a clean–up in some form. There is not one single technology that will give you 100% coverage immediately. You have to go to the field to solve issues. That can be noise for plc, blocking signals for RF, 3g/4g problems in shadow areas, and basements.
It is very important that a special clean-up team is organized at mass deployment! It needs to be a dedicated team, competent, and with appropriate support, tools to be able to analyze the root cause of the issues and prepare and implement the solutions.
Do you see your alliance working closer with other similar organizations in the future? Do you see the potential for merging different organizations, alliances or associations, which deal with the standardization of different or similar technologies?
G3-PLC Alliance already works closely with other associations. For example, with DLMS UA and with IDIS, which support G3-PLC as the only PLC technology. And the alliance is open to collaborating with other alliances - if that can bring benefits to the end-users. G3-PLC Alliance is actively seeking to collaborate with associations focusing on applications outside smart metering, like street lighting, in-home automation, PV equipment, etc.
There are similar standards available in the market. Merging these from a technical point of view is very complicated - if not to say impossible. There could be some alignment that will have clear benefits in the longer term, especially for manufacturers. But you have to look at it also from another perspective: having multiple standards provides a choice for end-users. Competition keeps us all sharp and drives innovation!
What is the most important lesson you have learned throughout your career?
I have learned that all the goals you have in front of you are achievable (even those which seem to be unsolvable) if you are not alone and have a team of motivated and competent people with you. I am very proud of my global R&D team in Slovenia, Egypt, and India and all the achievements we made together. I’m looking forward to beating all the challenges which are ahead of us!
For mass rollouts, utilities should use international standards and certified products. This is the only way to prevent vendor lock-in or ending up with an obsolete system in the case of a manufacturer for any reason is no longer supporting a specific technology or country. Interchangeability is also a very big advantage when one supplier is faced with logistic problems.
Every technology requires a clean–up in some form. Even when renting infrastructure (i.e. Mobile telephony) clean-up is required, but of course with less activity. Someone has to go to the field to solve issues. That can be noise for plc, blocking signals for RF, 3g/4g problems in shadow areas, and basements. It is very important that a special clean-up team is organized at mass deployment!
In your opinion, which standards with certification programs guarantee interoperability and interchangeability in the field when two communication technologies are used?
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