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Tropos Introduces Economical High Performance Mesh Router for Distribution Automation

Single Network Connecting Thousands of Distribution Automation Devices Simplifies Operations and Control

SUNNYVALE, CA -- January 24, 2011 - Tropos Networks, the leader in high reliability wireless IP networks for the smart grid today introduced the Tropos1310 Distribution Automation (DA) mesh router for communications to DA devices such as reclosers and sectionalizers.  This new router features the low latency, high bandwidth and Quality of Service (QoS) required by many mission critical DA applications.  In addition, it can be connected with many different vendors’ DA devices reducing operational cost and network management complexity.  The DA mesh router is part of Tropos’ GridCom 2.0 standards-based architecture for smart grids and seamlessly and economically extends mesh connectivity for DA applications.  Network management for the Tropos 1310 is via Tropos Control, a robust server-based wireless network management system. 

A number of utilities have wireless communications to some DA devices today, typically narrowband proprietary radio systems or commercial cellular data services.  Proprietary radios provide utilities with the ability to control technology migration; however, each DA vendor has their own management solution requiring utilities to operate multiple management systems resulting in operational inefficiencies and higher costs. In addition, most proprietary radio alternatives are low bandwidth and higher latency, so do not meet the criteria needed for many smart grid DA applications.  Cellular services, over the lifetime of use, are costly and utilities have no control over migration of technologies which leads to costly hardware upgrades every 5-10 years.  In addition, utilities lack visibility and control over end-to-end network performance, presenting challenges during storms and events where reliability is critical. Both cellular and legacy proprietary solutions lack the ability to provide quality of service for applications, driving costs up for utilities to deploy additional applications.

Tropos’ DA mesh router is the first product that enables utilities to build a private wireless network with the needed low latency and high performance that can support a wide range and number of DA devices.  For latency sensitive DA applications, it supports under 3 millisecond link latency allowing for sub-cycle response times needed by DA protection and control systems.  It provides high capacity to enable support for concurrent communications of thousands or tens of thousands of DA devices.  By supporting the DNP3 protocol over serial and Ethernet ports, the Tropos DA mesh router provides communications for a wide range of DA devices such as reclosers, switches, voltage regulators, sectionalizers and capacitor banks.  Moreover, with its support for QoS, utilities can prioritize critical applications over less critical ones, reducing operational risk.

As with Tropos’ other wireless communication products, the Tropos 1310 is managed by Tropos Control which unifies wireless network management and visibility aggregating and simplifying configuration-, performance-, software upgrades- and network fault management.  Tropos Control can scale to support hundreds or thousands of Tropos network devices across the distribution area.  Consolidating wireless network management provides utilities with real-time visibility into all aspects of their network including performance, security, device status and location, asset identification, and alerts, reducing operational costs and complexity.

“We see utilities accelerating rollout of distribution automation driven by the significant impact these applications are expected to have in terms of improvements to power quality and reliability, energy conservation and asset utilization,” said Tom Ayers, president and CEO of Tropos Networks.  “Our new DA mesh router is unprecedented in providing utilities with an economical high performance solution that meets the challenging network requirements for distribution automation applications while significantly reducing operational costs and simplifying operations.”

In a related announcement, Tropos today announced its GridCom 2.0 architecture that delivers the first comprehensive wireless distribution area network solution for the smart grid.

Tropos will have the 1310 Distribution Automation mesh router on display during DistribuTECH in San Diego, February 1-3, 2011, in booth #2335.

About Tropos
Tropos® Networks is a worldwide leader providing the most reliable and flexible wireless communications networks for utilities to build and control the smart grid.  The company has more than 800 customers in over 30 countries. Founded in 2000, Tropos Networks headquarters are in Sunnyvale, California.

To learn more about Tropos Networking the Smart Grid, visit:

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