For nearly a decade, Cisco has been committed to supporting the Wi-SUN Alliance – whose mission it is to drive the adoption of interoperable smart utility networks. As part of that commitment, Cisco has been offering Wi-SUN certified products to help with secure utility and smart city deployments, and has been actively working with member companies to define, test, and deliver a common open-standards based profile for this interoperability.
The Wi-SUN Field Area Network (FAN) now provides utilities and smart cities with an IPv6-based interoperable, secure, wide area wireless mesh network that can support multiple IoT use cases including utility metering, distribution automation, distributed energy resource control, municipal lighting, parking management and EV charging stations.
The FAN provides device interoperability for network discovery, association, authentication, key exchange and rotation, encryption, IPv6 RPL routing, and address assignment operating over sub -GHz IEEE 802.15.4 radio. The ability to operate multiple use cases using multiple vendor devices co-resident on a common FAN is a key benefit sought by customers to reduce costs associated with what were typically multiple, dedicated purpose legacy networks.
With more than 15 million IPv6 Cisco Resilient Mesh endpoints in operation, the latest Cisco CGR 1000 IOS and Resilient Mesh software releases with Wi-SUN FAN 1.0 support will pave the way to wide adoption of the FAN protocol stack.
Ecosystem of products expands
In April of 2019, the Wi-SUN Alliance announced the first products to achieve Wi-SUN Field Area Network (FAN) 1.0 certification. Cisco was one of the first to certify a FAN product with the Cisco IR509 and continues to lead with the largest collection of certified FAN products including the IR510, IR529, IR 530, CGR1120, CGR 1240, as well as Resilient Mesh endpoint reference design. There are today more than 30 products certified from multiple vendors, and the list continues to grow.
Solutions in action
At DistribuTECH 2020, Wi-SUN members collaborated to demonstrate the first multi-vendor Wi-SUN FAN network, featuring certified FAN devices from multiple vendors operating across the show floor. The demonstration can be viewed here.
Feature additions coming
In parallel with ongoing FAN 1.0 certifications, Wi-SUN is busy working on the next phase of FAN to include additional RF region support, higher data rate modulations, and low power operation – all of which will be backwards compatible with FAN 1.0.
Membership continues to grow
The Wi-SUN Alliance membership today includes 200+ semiconductor and product vendors, service providers, utilities, universities, enterprises, municipalities, and government organizations from 27 countries. We at Cisco are very excited to be a member among this prolific group of organizations and continue to do our part in driving this adoption of interoperable smart utility networks.