PRIME represents a public, open and non-proprietary telecommunications architecture which supports present and future AMM functionalities.
Since the inception of electricity deregulation and market-driven pricing throughout the world, utilities have been looking for a means to match consumption with generation. Traditional electrical and gas meters only measure total consumption, and so provide no information of when the energy was consumed at each metered site. PRIME Advanced Metering solutions provide a way of measuring this site-specific information, allowing price setting to introduce different prices for consumption based on the time of day and the season. PRIME Advanced Metering include measurements of voltages and harmonic distortion, allowing diagnosis of power quality problems.
The components of PRIME architecture (modulation and coding techniques, protocols, data formats etc.) are not subject to any Intellectual Property Rights. Specifications are comprehensive and detailed enough so that any new entrant will be able to provide interoperable solutions to the market.
PRIME initially defines lower OSI layers of a narrowband PLC data transmission system over the electricity grid. The whole architecture has been designed to be low-cost but high-performance. It uses Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) in narrowband frequency ranges.