The vast distances and sparse population of rural Australia have been a problem for power companies for centuries. ATDI has helped ease the burdens by assisting in the creation of a smart metering network.
Horizon Power, based in Karratha, Western Australia, has a service area of 2.3 million square kilometres with an average of one customer per 53.5 square kilometres.
“You can understand the time, effort and staff costs in reading all those meters,” says Yahya Khaled, spectrum engineer at ATDI Australia. “It was no surprise that Horizon Power approached ATDI to help manage and optimize their smart metering network to cater for the increasing business needs.”
ATDI dominates in radio planning and modeling for the mining industry in Western Australia and it was the company’s track record of success in that sector that brought it to Horizon Power’s attention.
Horizon Power sought to implement a low-power mesh network operating on class license 920MHz and thereby requiring no licensing or spectrum fees as the Australian regulator has identified it as the GSM 900 duplex gap allocated to industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) use. This helped reduce costs across an area one-fifth the size of Europe and where isolated communities often have poor infrastructure.
ATDI’s task was to produce accurate cluster and hop-level predictions and identify the need for signal repeaters or additional access points across the vast distances involved. In addition, the company imported live mesh network data.
“ATDI gave Horizon Power an on-site demonstration and two-week trial of the company’s planning and modeling software, specifically ICS telecom EV and ICS map server,” Yahya notes. “Based on the comprehensive testing of ATDI’s tools, and impressed by the accuracy of results and ease of operation, Horizon Power bought licenses for both products for use in network construction.”