Wi-SUN Alliance Releases its Field Area Network Specification

May 16, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

The Wi-SUN Alliance announced the release of its specification for Field Area Networks (FAN). The specification brings interoperable, multi-vendor Smart Ubiquitous Networks (SUN) to enterprise, service providers and municipalities needing an open standards based networking solution for applications ranging from advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and distribution automation, to infrastructure management, intelligent transportation systems and smart street lighting.

"The release of the Wi-SUN FAN specification comes at an ideal time, with utilities and municipalities worldwide needing the best solution for integrated applications designed for smart grids and smart cities," said Wi-SUN's Chairman, Phil Beecher. "Using the Wi-SUN Alliance FAN delivers the performance they require and a wide choice of interoperable products and solutions from multiple vendors."

Wi-SUN's Director of Standards, Bob Heile, who is also chair of IEEE 802.15, IEEE 2030.5 on Smart Energy and the IEEE 2030 SmartGrid Guide Communications Task Force, agrees. "As the industry need for Smart City and robust, secure IoT deployments grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to move away from closed, proprietary protocols to solutions using open internationally recognized standards. The Wi-SUN FAN solution is ideal for these applications, providing multi-vendor interoperable, multi-service and secure IPv6 communications over an IEEE 802.15.4g based wireless mesh network."

The Wi-SUN Alliance FAN solution utilizes IEEE 802.15.4gâ„¢, a global wireless communications standard, IETF IPv6 protocols including UDP/TCP, 6LoWPAN adaptation + header compression, routing using RPL and IEEE 802.1x enterprise level security, to enable robust, high performance, low power and long-range networks. A certification program will be available later this year to ensure full multi-vendor interoperability.