Real Time Communications Featured Article

Attack of the Grids

August 01, 2014

New terms from the tech space, such as DSL, the Internet, and 4G, are frequently expanding the world at large and joining the popular lexicon. Other words – like cell, cloud, and now the grid – simply take on new meaning.

Most of us by now are already aware of the term smart grid, a concept that involves the use of computer technology to control energy systems in a more automated and cost effective manner.

More than 200 million smart meters have been deployed worldwide, Verizon reports, noting that access data made available via smart grid projects help cities and energy organizations understand usage patterns so they can more effectively manage their assets, businesses, costs, and environmental considerations, and so consumers can opt to conserve energy and/or water on the home front.




One smart grid example involves service provider Orange, which has created a joint venture with a French water utility, which it already has deployed 700,000 smart meters in France. The turn up of 5 million smart meters is on the agenda for this engagement.

Smart water projects are now rising up in many parts of the world as well. Major companies involved in such activities include Acciona Agua of Spain, Thames Water from the United Kingdom, and Vitens of the Netherlands. In the Acciona Agua project in Cáceres, Spain, for example, new technology is being placed in the city center and in the historic district that integrates remote meter reading, water quality sensors, a geographic information system, and mathematical modeling to detect faults, jams or leaks. 

The term micro grid has also recently come into vogue. The idea here is to introduce automation and the opportunity for isolation (from the larger power grid) for select geographies in an effort to enable them to more easily implement energy storage and new energy sources.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the State of New Jersey recently announced a micro grid project called NJ TRANSITGRID in the Garden State, which is looking for increased resiliency of its basic systems in light of the damage it has incurred from natural disasters in recent years.

The term grid is also now being used to describe solutions that bring together all aspects of our communications networks, devices, and applications to create seamless rich media communications experiences for end users.  

For example, GENBAND has introduced the SESSION GRID. This end-to-end IP communications framework enables the efficient and secure processing of IP sessions of all media types, supporting multiple protocols, transcoding, operating systems, applications and federation of next generation network approaches, including communications initiated on social networks. SESSION GRID breaks down interoperability barriers by bridging the enterprise, web and telco domains.

GENBAND’s SMART SESSION and SMART EXPERIENCE solutions are based on SESSION GRID. SMART SESSION offers centralized session management to orchestrate, mediate and regulate communications flows across different applications, endpoints, and networks. SMART EXPERIENCE delivers open APIs that allow developers to expedite integration with external applications. 

 

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