IEEE approves standard for low-frequency narrowband power-line communications for smart grid

By Editor


IEEE has approved the IEEE 1901.2 “Standard for Low-Frequency (less than 500kHz) Narrowband Power-Line Communications for Smart-Grid Applications.”

The achievement has been driven and is sponsored by the Power-Line Communications Standards Committee of the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc), IEEE said.

The approval follows the completion of the first sponsor ballot by IEEE 1901.2 in August 2013. The smart grid standard leverages techniques and recent innovations in communications technology and the smart grid security framework.

The standard is comprised of three foundational components—physical/medium access (PHY/MAC) layer, coexistence and electromagnetic-compatibility (EMC) requirements.


IEEE 1901.2 supports the balanced and efficient use of the PLC channel by all classes of low-frequency and narrowband devices. The standard defines detailed mechanisms for coexistence among standard technologies operating in the same frequency band.

“The IEEE 1901.2 standard raises the bar of performance with mandatory differential and robust coherent modulation, with added enhancements for increased data rates greater than 300kbps,” said Jim LeClare, chair of the IEEE Low-Frequency Narrowband Power-Line Communications Working Group.

“The design potential for low-frequency, narrowband OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) Power-Line Communications (PLC) has expanded past the energy industry, with designs spanning the globe in industrial automation, transportation, street lighting, mining, medical applications and more,” LeClare added.

IEEE 1901.2 is scheduled to be published on 6 December 2013 and will be available for purchase at the IEEE Standards Store.

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