The IEEE has released the 802.15.4g radio standard, a global wireless networking standard enabling interoperable communications between certain smart grid devices, including smart meters and smart home appliances. The new standard represents a leap forward in establishing common and consistent communication specifications for utilities deploying smart grid technologies.

This standard, published on April 28, 2012, is an important fundamental standard for the large-scale networks that characterize the smart grid. The standard's baseline specifications for wireless communications will allow millions of devices to interoperate with each other in mesh, star, point-to-point, or any other topology.

Elster, Itron, Landis+Gyr, NICT, and Silver Spring Networks were active participants in shaping the standard, striving to ensure backward compatibility with existing deployed devices, and ensuring that features necessary for long-term operation were represented. A significant, internationally recognized ecosystem contributed to the development of the standard and included smart grid platform providers, equipment vendors, silicon suppliers, electric and gas utilities, and government research, standards, and regulatory agencies. The standard is already supported by products from a large number of global vendors and is expected to rapidly gain worldwide adoption.

"The smart grid is a complex ecosystem with interconnected devices, communication technologies and software. Standards help simplify this environment by enabling coexistence of multi-vendor components," said Simon Pontin, Itron Chief Technology Officer. "As a global smart grid influencer, we're advocating for standards that can be applied internationally as smart metering and smart grid continue to evolve at a rapid pace outside of North America."