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IEEE has approved the IEEE 1901.2 "Standard for Low-Frequency (less than 500 kHz) Narrowband Power-Line Communications for Smart Grid Applications."

IEEE notes that the achievement has been driven and is sponsored by the Power-Line Communications Standards Committee of the IEEE Communications Society.

"The IEEE 1901.2 standard raises the bar of performance with mandatory differential and robust coherent modulation, with added enhancements for increased data rates greater than 300 kbps," says Jim LeClare, chair of the IEEE Low-Frequency Narrowband Power-Line Communications Working Group.

In August, IEEE 1901.2 completed its first sponsor ballot, which paved the way for its approval, IEEE reports. Because the standard was natively designed for the modern smart grid, it leverages techniques and recent innovations in communications technology and the smart grid security framework, the organization adds.

Comprising three foundational components - physical/medium access layer, coexistence and electromagnetic-compatibility requirements - IEEE 1901.2 supports the balanced and efficient use of the power-line communications (PLC) channel by all classes of low-frequency and narrowband devices, IEEE says. The standard defines detailed mechanisms for coexistence among standard technologies operating in the same frequency band.

Designed to specify secure PLC at data rates up to 500 kbps and transmission frequencies of less than 500 kHz for applications, IEEE reports that IEEE 1901.2 addresses low-frequency, narrowband PLC over low-voltage lines of less than 1,000 V between transformer and meter, through transformer low-voltage to medium-voltage (1,000 V up to 72 kV) and through transformer medium-voltage to low-voltage power lines in both urban and long-distance rural communications.

IEEE 1901.2 is scheduled to be published on Dec. 6, IEEE notes.

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