3G cellular networks are the fastest and least-expensive way for electric utilities to deploy a wide area digital data network to monitor and control a smart grid. Cellular network operators can wirelessly connect important grid assets such as meters, breakers, sensors, RTU’s, transformers and substations directly to the utility’s operation center. This dramatically reduces the utility’s up-front deployment costs and time-frames and leverages the cellular carriers’ massive investments in network operations and maintenance to reduce the overall cost of ownership.
The leading US cellular carriers now offer data service plans that cater to smart grid, AMI and machine-to-machine communication (M2M) applications. The Proxicast LAN-Cell 2 Mobile 3G cellular router uses off-the-shelf 3G cellular modems to allow Ethernet-enabled smart grid and distribution automation devices from any vendor to be quickly, securely and reliably connected to the Internet. The LAN-Cell 2 offers fast, secure and cost-effective remote wireless 3G access on any CDMA or GSM wireless data network.
The LAN-Cell 2 provides IP connectivity over Ethernet, WiFi, and cellular network connections. Meters, breakers, transformers, sensors and substations can be directly connected a LAN-Cell 2 for remote access. The LAN-Cell 2 can also function as a neighborhood cellular back-haul gateway to large groups of devices by coupling the LAN-Cell with short-range wireless technologies, such as ZigBee, Bluetooth, Mesh, VHF/UHF or 900 MHz radios. The extensive feature set of the LAN-Cell 2 and wide availability of cellular service offers utilities the ability to economically install an IP connection anywhere it is needed on the grid. The LAN Cell 2 enhances transmission and distribution automation reliability with real-time monitoring and intelligent control.
Security is a major concern for any point where the grid interfaces to a public network. As detailed in Proxicast’s presentation to the electric utility industry, Naked on the Internet: Securing Remote Cellular Data Communications, significant threats exist throughout the transmission and distribution (T&D) system. The best defense is an integrated communications and security gateway that complies with security standards such as NERC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard and IEC’s IEC62351 Data Communications Security for Power Systems.
The LAN-Cell's NAT and advanced rule-based SPI firewall provide highly granular security and policy enforcement for all remote devices and users. The built-in 3DES and AES encryption-capable VPN client and server software eliminates the need to configure individual devices and extends secure corporate networks to devices that cannot run VPN client software. The LAN-Cell 2 supports 5 simultaneous IPSec tunnels, military grade DES, 3DES, AES256 encryption, XAUTH, CMP / SCEP, X.509 / PKCS#12 digital certificates and more.
The LAN-Cell 2 is also currently being use for "green" sustainable and renewable energy projects. "In addition to traditional electric utilities, we have a number of wind turbine, solar (PV), and alternative energy operators using the LAN-Cell 2 for real-time monitoring and control. Many of these are in locations where it is hard to get a traditional wired internet connection" said Jim Sabol, COO of Proxicast.
About the LAN-Cell 2
Proxicast’s LAN-Cell 2 is a high-performance, rugged, upgradeable, professional-
The LAN-Cell 2 incorporates a built-in wireless 802.11 a/b/g WiFi access point, a 4 port 10/100 Ethernet Switch, a 10/100 Ethernet WAN port and a RS-232 serial port. Auto fail-over switching between the Cellular, WAN & serial ports enables the LAN-Cell 2 to combine both 3G cellular, DSL, cable, satellite and other networks to offer unprecedented speed, reliability and quality of service.
The LAN-Cell 2 3G router is cellular carrier independent via its 3G modem PC-Card architecture, and can easily be upgraded as newer and faster cellular technologies such as 4G, LTE and WiMAX become available. The LAN-Cell 2 supports all major worldwide cellular (wireless) carriers including Verizon Wireless, Sprint PCS, Alltel Wireless, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile, Rogers, Telus, Bell Mobility, Telcel, Orange, Vodafone, O2, Telstra and others.
Proxicast is a registered trademark of Proxicast, LLC. LAN-Cell and Cell-PAK are trademarks of Proxicast, LLC. All other brand, product and trade names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
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Proxicast designs and manufactures innovative, commercial-grade, secure wireless communications equipment that enables customers to increase productivity, enhance security, improve operational efficiency and reduce on-going communication costs. Proxicast focuses on wireless equipment for use with all major worldwide cellular standards including (CDMA) EV-DO Rev-A, EV-DO Rev-0, 1xRTT (1x) and (GSM) HSUPA, HSDPA, UMTS, W-CDMA, EDGE and GPRS. Some cellular carriers include including Verizon Wireless, Sprint PCS, Alltel Wireless, AT&T Mobility (Cingular), T-Mobile, Rogers, Telus, Bell Mobility, Telcel, Orange, Vodafone, O2, Telstra and others. In 2003, Proxicast introduced the revolutionary and award winning, LAN Cell Mobile Gateway, the original cellular router, which is in use at thousands of mobile and stationary application sites around the world. Proxicast is based north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a privately-held corporation founded in 2000.