This paper appears in: Communications Magazine, IEEE
Issue Date: April 2011
Volume: 49 Issue:4
On page(s): 60 - 65
The advanced metering infrastructure of the smart grid presents the biggest growth potential in the machine-to-machine market today. Spurred by recent advances in M2M technologies, SG smart meters are expected not to require human intervention in characterizing power requirements and energy distribution. However, there are many challenges in the design of the SG communications network whereby the electrical appliances and smart meters are able to exchange information pertaining to varying power requirements. Furthermore, different types of M2M gateways are required at different points (e.g., at home, in the building, at the neighborhood, and so forth) of the SG communication network. This article surveys a number of existing communication technologies that can be adopted for M2M communication in SG. Among these, the most reliable technology to facilitate M2M communication in the SG home area network is pointed out, and its shortcoming is also noted. Furthermore, a possible solution to deal with this shortcoming to improve SG communications scalability is also presented.