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Smart Grid Wireless Connectivity Center

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 6:41am
Lockard & White, a diversified telecommunications engineering and integration firm, and Full Spectrum Inc., a manufacturer of specialized fourth generation software defined radios, announced today the launch of the Smart Grid Wireless Connectivity Center (SGWCC) at Lockard & White’s headquarters in Bryan / College Station Texas. The SGWCC will include both indoor lab and outdoor smart grid test environments.

The Connectivity Center is designed to accelerate nationwide smart grid deployments for advanced mission critical distribution automation and metering applications by providing utilities and wireless equipment manufacturers with a facility where they can have their systems evaluated in near real world scenarios. “Almost all smart grid deployments involve a combination of private wireless communications transporting a variety of legacy and advanced protocols for command and control of smart grid devices,” said Marc Lockard CEO of Lockard & White. “To design and deploy the wireless connectivity piece of the Smart Grid puzzle utilities need a facility to actually test and evaluate various products operating in real world conditions. With myriad products and solutions hitting the market every day, it is important to L&W and our clients that we evaluate products so we can truly deliver “best in class” solutions.”

“We felt it was important to help initiate and fund the SGWCC with Lockard & White”, said Stewart Kantor, CEO of Full Spectrum. “Private, licensed wireless communications will play a crucial and substantial role in all smart grid deployments. This includes existing land mobile radio, licensed and unlicensed point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless technologies. Our FullMAX Broadband Software Defined Radios (SDR) represent one of the foundational layers: the broadband wide area RF IP cloud. Utilities will be able to test wide area mobile and fixed performance in various licensed frequencies.”

The SGWCC has already been engaged by several of the nation’s electric cooperatives to start testing various wireless configurations for distribution automation and Advanced Metering Infrastructure backhaul. The SGWCC is now extending invitations to select investor owned utilities in the country to visit the test facility and take part in real world Smart Grid workshops. Lockard & White and Full Spectrum Inc. envision further expansion of the SGWCC through inclusion of both complimentary Smart Grid technologies and competitive radio vendors as requested by their customers.

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