"The future of wireless communication is increasingly about building an Internet of everything," said Adam Lapede, senior director of product development at Qualcomm Atheros. Speaking at the opening the Smart Grid Electronics Forum Monday in San Jose, Lapede addressed challenges and opportunities for smart grid implementation.
The smart grid is a huge edge-to-edge network based on varied media, distance, mobility, and ownership, he pointed out. There is no standard topology for the network and every country has it's own standards. Even the smart meters at the heart of the grid can be a mashup of cellular, wire mesh, WiFi, and Zigbee technologies. While there is a consolidation going on in the smart meter market, there are still new players coming online every year, which causes a significant uncertainty for the consumer that is looking for consistency and security.
Lapede suggested that the industry, rather than try to create new, competing technologies the roil the market, that they look at creating products around established standards, specifically 3G, WiFi and HomePlug PHY (HPGP).
Admittedly, since HPGP was developed by Qualcomm, the position might seem self serving, but Lapede points out that the standard has been endorsed by the Department of Energy (DoE) and has had significant investment in ensuring its stability. The same can be said for WiFi and 3G cellular communication and together the standards provide reliability, security and full internal and external coverage, as well as high scalability. "They are also wide spread and trusted by the general public."