SAN JOSE, Calif. – Analysts gave guarded praise to JupiterMesh, a new specification for a wireless mesh network from the Zigbee Alliance, targeting utility, industrial and smart city markets. JupiterMesh supports IPv6 traffic at data rates from 6.25 to 800 Kbits/second over 800 MHz to 2.4 GHz unlicensed bands, embracing IETF and other security standards.
JupiterMesh could become a viable alternative to the Wi-SUN field area network announced in May, analysts said. The new spec adds another option to a rapidly widening field of low power wide area network (LPWA) options.
The alliance announced JupiterMesh at a members meeting in Amsterdam. Multiple vendors successfully tested different modulation options and data rates in the spec at an interoperability event hosted byPowertech Labs Inc., a subsidiary of an electric utility based outside Vancouver.
JupiterMesh is based on IEEE 802.15.4e/g media access control and physical layers including support for CSMA or TSCH modes. It supports 6LoWPAN, UDP, TCP, RPL, CoAP, and other IETF protocols as well as multicasting.
The spec can use multiple modulation techniques including FSK, O-QPSK, OFDM. It supports IETF security protocols such as PANA, EAP-TLS and HIP-DEX for network access authentication and key distribution, and AES-128-CCM-based message authentication and encryption. It works with existing metering protocols, such as IEC TC13’s DLMS/COSEM, ANSI C12, OpenADR, GOOSE, IEC 61850 and DNP3.
The spec is finished and undergoing validation testing using several vendor’s implementations. Certified products are expected to ship by June 2017. Zigbee members contributing to the spec include Analog Devices, ARM, the Atmel subsidiary of Microchip Technology, Itron, Landis+Gyr, NXP, Renesas Electronics, Silicon Labs and Texas Instruments.
The spec “enables new applications and use cases for electric, gas and water utilities and smart cities…[such as] applications to improve grid and pipeline safety, efficiency, and reliability; to accommodate renewable and distributed generation integration; and to drive improvements in consumer-facing applications such as demand response [and] energy efficiency,” said Ed Eckert, Itron’s director of standards and a ZigBee Alliance board director, speaking in a press statement.
In addition, the spec is “ready for future evolutions such as deterministic networking and efficient spectrum sharing being worked on today in the IEEE and IETF,” said ZigBee Alliance chief executive Tobin Richardson in the press statement.
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