ZTE released new smart meters using the low power wide area LoRa IoT standard at CeBIT 2016 in Hanover, Germany this week. They meet smart meter reading systems' requirements for long-distance transmission of small data.
Three LoRa-based smart meters were released: single-phase smart meter; single-phase prepaid smart meter; and three-phase smart meter. These smart meters are based on ZTE's smart meter product series and comply with IEC 62056-DLMS/COSEM, IEC 62055-STS payment systems, and other smart meter protocols.
The smart meters do not only support LoRa technology, but also RS485, M-BUS, ZIGBEE, RF-MESH, PLC, GPRS, and other communication methods when the corresponding modules are configured.
LoRa provides an alternative connectivity solution to cellular networks (it uses unlicensed spectrum) for the last-mile data transmission of smart meter reading systems. The LoRa-based solution has several advantages over the original data communication solutions, including long-distance communication, flexible and adjustable transmission rate, environment adaptability, and low power consumption.
ZTE said its LoRa-based smart meters can reach a sensitivity of –136 ± 1 dBm@240 bps, and their power levels can be flexibly adjusted to adapt to different distances and rates during data transmission.
Forward error correction (FEC) and digital spread spectrum technologies are also used in LoRa digital signal processing, and allow the LoRa communication technology to better adapt to communication environments and have a greater anti-interference capability.
The LoRa communication technology also considerably reduces the power consumption of communication modules, the transmit current is lower than 90 mA@17 dBm, the receiving current is lower than 13 mA, and the standby current is lower than 0.7 uA.