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Smart Grid/Smart City/Smart Street Lighting Network Design

by | Jul 21, 2022

EDX provides the industry standard solution for designing Mesh networks. Smart Grid vendors, Utilities, and system integrators use SignalPro + Mesh Network Module to plan, deploy and optimize Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Smart City, and Smart Street Lighting networks, including city-wide networks consisting of millions of devices. 

The platform includes automated processes and detailed system reports to ensure proper network dimensioning while identifying mesh vulnerabilities and critical mesh points. SignalPro with the Mesh Network module is essential to the design of any efficient and robust network from pre-sales through deployment and optimization. 

Use Cases

  • Smart Grid AMI
  • Smart Street Lighting
  • Smart City
  • Distribution Automation

Cost Aware

One of the challenges in designing large networks is the difficulty of balancing the need for coverage and redundancy that meet your design criteria against the need for a cost-effective network. The cost to deploy gateways or repeaters on different locations varies greatly depending on the type of pole or tower asset. Deploying gateways on street-lights or utility poles may be less expensive if they’re owned by the network operator, but the additional coverage offered by cell tower sites may offset their extra cost. Even if the entire network is to be built on operator-owned pole assets, there may be significant differences in deployment costs for different types of poles within the network area. 

Choosing where to build backhaul sites and repeaters quickly becomes a complex problem involving the device capacity, equipment and site costs, and the RF coverage that will be achievable from each site. For large networks it’s impractical to evaluate the coverage of each site location individually and then try to design a mesh network that meets these competing requirements by hand. Given these many challenges, achieving a positive ROI without the proper tools can be an overwhelming exercise. 

Using SignalPro + Mesh Network Module, engineers can input relative cost figures for site locations, different types of mesh equipment, and even a cost/loss value for leaving devices unconnected. The total cost for the network is shown in the summary report as well as the individual Router View window. This allows network designers to see how cost-effective the network is overall and identify those areas where the network is most costly to install. Smart planning means maximizing ROI and improving overall CAPEX for both greenfield and brownfield networks.

Automatic Site Placement

Evaluate all potential sites much more quickly than with independent area studies for area-wide or fixed-subscriber type networks. Engineers can import tower/pole information and the automated features within EDX’s solutions determine site locations for best performance as well as properly dimensioned networks so you don’t overspend on hardware. Additionally, the automated features prevent the need to run coverage analysis for each site as well as the trial and error of trying each site individually. 

Capacity-Constrained Analysis

By considering factors such as collector capacity, number of device connections and backhaul availability, networks can be designed to conform to the vendor’s requirements. Study

inputs allow the definition of collection capacity, hopping limits and mesh node downstream devices with the resulting studies identifying areas of weak capacity.

Topology and Reporting

The topology report in SignalPro provides engineers thorough analytics on their network. The report identifies cut nodes, vulnerable nodes and the number of alternative gateways for each meter to connect, among other things. This provides insight into how redundant the network is and ensures there aren’t any “choke points” in the network where the loss of a single device could isolate many downstream devices. 

Presales

Since these networks are complex and consist of many devices, an improper design can lead to overbuilding the network, which in turn can have a huge financial impact. The pre-sales tools of SignalPro + Mesh Network Module including automatic site placement, cost-aware analysis, and backhaul planning ensure accurate bids and networks meet budgetary requirements. Because these features streamline the pre-sale and design stages and shorten the time to deployment, sales engineers can ensure their customers are happy and move on to more opportunities. 

Optimization 

To ensure redundancy, the EDX solution identifies points of failure in the network to determine where to place repeaters. A properly balanced network can be designed by configuring independent connection rules for each device type and analyzing connection metrics at each modulation level. Optimal backhaul locations can be automatically determined based on the hop count of each subscriber. Find the best solution, the best location for sites, and use the appropriate amount of equipment.

Visualization

Visualize your network by placing equipment on the map, overlaying coverage analysis, viewing individual path profiles, viewing all connections of each repeater or router, and seeing potential repeater connections based on cursor location.

SignalPro

Because SignalPro offers the most comprehensive planning solution in the industry, you have access not only to the Mesh planning solution, but also a suite of tools for 5G, LTE-PRO, CBRS, FWA, in-building, and more.

Benefits

  • Streamline pre-sales activities
  • ROI for greenfield and brownfield network
  • Intelligently scale large networks
  • Optimize infrastructure investment
  • Automate detection of mesh vulnerabilities
  • Decrease network optimization cycles
  • Shorten time to deployment
  • Reduce truck rolls
  • Automate Cell Planning

Usage-based licensing

Flexible licensing options allow you to procure EDX’s solutions on a monthly, yearly, prepaid days or perpetual hybrid basis. These options save money over perpetual license purchases and allow you to easily add users for busy seasons, particular projects or training. You may also add technology modules as needed for particular projects.

Subscriptions

  • Monthly or yearly subscriptions
  • Add users and modules as needed

Prepaid Days

  • No limit to the number of concurrent users
  • OPEX expenditure for project-based usage

Perpetual Hybrid

  • Add temporary users as needed to perpetual licenses
  • Scale users and modules based on workflow

Data

EDX provides a number of options when it comes to high-resolution data. You may procure custom land use data for any location in the world on a subscription or perpetual basis for large geographic regions, down to individual service areas.

Data can depict clutter, foliage, buildings and other obstructions to build accurate models of urban, rural, suburban and mixed service areas and provide the best prediction results. 

Clutter Height Data

Clutter height data provides a 2.5D depiction of service areas as it provides heights based on sample points in the grid, rather than assigning one height value across an entire clutter category. The result is a detailed database showing height values for all man-made features as well as vegetation in a service area.

3D Data

3D data provides the most accurate representation of a service area as it contains individual building and vegetation polygons depicting heights for each. 

About EDX

EDX offers the most comprehensive engineering solution in wireless. Our products are used to design 5G, CBRS, IoT, Smart Grid AMI, LTE, Broadband Delivery, in-building DAS and more. The features of the platform contain everything needed to design greenfield networks from the ground up, optimize existing systems, expand networks or migrate from one technology to another. 

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