Itron, Inc. has unveiled its Itron Fiber Mini Access Point (Fiber MiniAP), which promises to leverage both fiber and RF-mesh connectivity for a wide range of Itron endpoints. The Fiber MiniAP can help cooperatives leverage fiber-network assets for next generation advanced-metering infrastructure (AMI), distributed intelligence, distribution automation, low-voltage network management, smart lighting and more to enable grid modernization beyond meter-to-cash, they claim.
The Fiber MiniAP promises to extend IIoT network coverage in rural areas with low meter-per-mile density while reducing infrastructure and total cost of ownership.Further, rural electric cooperatives can utilize Itron's partner ecosystem to address grid-modernization challenges at their own pace with a future-ready IIoT network, they add. Itron is currently planning to test the Fiber MiniAP with cooperative utilities and the solution will be commercially available in North America in the first half of 2024.“Utility companies are always looking for ways to deliver reliable and safe energy services. With Itron’s Fiber MiniAP, these companies can now extend intelligently connected network coverage and advanced applications further,” said John Marcolini, senior vice president of Networks at Itron. “Itron’s latest smart network innovation will provide cooperatives utilities with a practical next step to solve pressing operational challenges through fiber-enabled next generation AMI.”“National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), an Itron Sales Channel Partner, provides solutions to more than 1,500 rural electric and telephone utilities and affiliates in 48 states. With the creation of the Fiber MiniAP, Itron is considering the voice of the customer,” said Greg Bartolomei, president of smart grid solutions at NRTC. “We are excited about the new opportunities for next-generation AMI and smart grid applications that the Fiber MiniAP will help unlock for electric cooperatives. We look forward to continuing our partnership to deliver more value.”