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Connected things are proliferating in cities (1.6 billion in 2016) and utilities (600 million smart meters in 2016) around the globe. Data is streaming into utility operational back office systems, providing inputs for everything from energy usage, billing, operational efficiencies and safety. So far, so good.

But there’s a problem. The old network architecture ― where basic endpoint data is transported back and forth from devices through the network and finally into the back office ― is limiting efficiency and application performance. Data is moving too slow. Analytics and decisions are taking too long. Action is delayed which translates to lost time, lost money, inefficiencies, and operational risks.

Now there’s a better way―the Active Network from Itron and Cisco.

IoT in Real-time

An Active Network or Active Grid combines distributed computing, intelligence in edge devices, mobility, and other features to let your IoT systems make decisions in real-time.

  • Meters and grid devices can access and analyze high-resolution data themselves in real-time, leverage peer-to-peer communications and take coordinated action
  • You can make better operational decisions faster, increase resource utilization, and provide an unrivaled customer experience
  • Built on open standards, the network is secure, reliable, highly manageable and can evolve to include new applications developed by a growing ecosystem of developers as well as new communications protocols
  • One unified network architecture handles electricity, gas, water, applications and other smart city devices

Key Features & Benefits for Smart Cities and Utilities 

The Active Network for the city or utility field area combines current solutions like water, gas, electric automated metering reading and automated metering infrastructure (AMR, AMI) ― plus customer conservation and engagement with emerging applications likes streetlight management, parking and traffic management.  The multi-application network is built with adaptable communication technologies: radio frequency LAN, RF mesh, Power Line Carrier, cellular and Wi-Fi.  This flexible architecture leverages your current assets and investments to help you transform your operations with new levels of network speed and intelligence.

If you were going to design a future-ready IoT field area network with the capability to support devices and applications that are to come, you couldn’t do better than these features:

  • A proven open IP network architecture that is cost-effective, unified, simplified, and that services all of your evolving metering and IoT applications
  • The ability to maximize business outcomes with intelligent data analytics that happen in the right place at the right time – both distributed and centralized on the same network
  • The ability to protect your existing networks, meters, grid devices, and solutions like AMR and AMI while adding new use cases and solutions

From Itron and Cisco 

This Active Network is here.

Itron and Cisco have collaborated since 2010 to deliver a true multi-application, IPv6 field area network solution that outclasses anything else available today. The partnership aims to drive a deeper customer relationship based on the value derived from our joint offerings. Our alliance represents a major step forward in the realization of a modern, more intelligent digital utilities infrastructure. Together, we’re dedicated to the standardization of network architecture to reduce costs and hassle for our customers and to creating an end-to-end solution that is secure, scalable, adaptable, and easy to maintain and support.

Learn more about Itron and Cisco here.


Marisa Rutti

Partner Marketing Manager

Global Partner Marketing