On-Ramp Wireless Deploys M2M Tech in South Korean Smart Grid Pilot

On-Ramp Wireless Deploys M2M Tech in South Korean Smart Grid Pilot

On-Ramp Wireless announced an agreement to deploy its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system for South Korean smart metering company Fountain Springs in collaboration with Korea Telecom. The deployment is part of the country's Jeju Smart Grid Test-Bed project, considered one of the largest smart grid projects in the world.

San Diego-Calif.-based On-Ramp Wireless recently unveiled its Ultra-Link Processing (ULP) wireless networking platform to collect and transform AMI data for utilities. The company says the ULP platform will enable South Korea's smart grid initiative to boost energy efficiency, cut costs and speed up deployment of its smart grid applications.

On-Ramp's proprietary low-power communication technology competes with cellular and radio-frequency technologies as a way to remotely transfer data in challenging urban environments, such as through buildings and manhole covers.

"Implementing our ULP technology, in conjunction with Fountain Springs and Korea Telecom, will completely address the meter density and capacity challenges of the South Korean environment," said Joaquin Silva, President and CEO of On-Ramp in a statement. "Our ULP technology reduces network and operational costs by up to 5x compared with competing systems, and will enable Korea Telecom to work towards their intentions to gain a large piece of the global smart rid market."

The Jeju Smart Grid Test-Bed project is part of Korea's commitment to establish a national grid by 2030 and includes a budget of close to $200 million, with $68.5 million in public funds. Built on Jeju Island in the Korean Strait, the smart grid complex connects about 6,000 homes with schools, wind turbines, transmission lines, energy storage systems, and plug-in vehicles.

Construction began in December 2009 and is expected to continue through May 2013. More than 160 companies -- including IBM, CPFL, Korea Electric Power Company, LG, and others -- use the complex to test advanced technology and systems as well as identify potential business models for a more comprehensive smart grid program.

On-Ramp is among the players in the fast-growing machine-to-machine (M2M) communications space. M2M covers a wide range of communications in new products and services, including home energy meters, appliances, security systems, fleets, car-to-car communications, and health monitoring equipment. Machina Research predicts M2M connections will grow from one billion in 2010 to 12 billion in 2020, accounting for half all global data.

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