Hybrid Solution

PRIME’s telecommunications story begins in 2009 with ideas for powerline communications (PLC) to support smart energy and grid technologies. By standardising the open powerline with a single specification, PRIME allows for full multi-vendor interoperability and global compatibility.

Using the complementary advantages of PLC and radio frequency (RF) technologies, PRIME has forged both together to offer a hybrid solution. The new technology increases reliability, coverage and security, shielding from communication impairments of the PLC and RF mediums. In addition, the new technology allows PRIME to be extended to new applications by being able to connect RF-only nodes such as gas meters, water meters or IoT devices to the network.

PLC and RF physical (PHY) signals are integrated into the same medium access control (MAC) layer, allowing the two technologies to work harmoniously. As a result, PRIME’s hybrid solution is fully backward compatible with PLC-only or RF-only devices resulting in extended network coverage, provided existing PLC, or RF links are already deployed. Lastly, this open standard protocol ensures the smart grid’s robustness, reliability, and efficiency while setting a solid foundation toward the integration with the ecosystem of smart cities applications.