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Liberty Lake, Wash.-based Itron Inc. has announced a collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc., on a next-generation smart energy platform that leverages cellular technology through the use of Qualcomm's Gobi MDM8x15 chipset.

Itron says the new platform will combine Itron's OpenWay smart meters with Qualcomm Technologies' Gobi MDM8x15 multi-mode modem and integrated application processor, enabling a streamlined and cost-optimized solution. With support for multiple 3G standards (UMTS/HSPA or CDMA2000), extensibility to 4G-LTE and backwards compatibility with 2G technologies, this solution will have a global footprint, the company adds.

These advantages, according to Itron, combine to enable emerging smart energy applications that require greater amounts of granular data such as distribution automation, demand response, distributed generation, pre-paid metering, electric vehicle integration and volt/Var monitoring.

"This collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies is very significant for Itron,” says Russ Vanos, senior vice president of strategy and business development at Itron. “When we acquired SmartSynch, we recognized the growing importance of 3G cellular for smart grid deployments. Now, we have taken the next logical step in working strategically with Qualcomm Technologies so that we can stay at the forefront of cellular developments, utilize the smartphone ecosystem and its capabilities and scale for the smart grid.”




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