‘Mexican Radio’ for the smart grid? Ask FreeWave

Come on … When Mexico’s huge — and one and only — utility power company chooses wireless data radios to monitor and control its systems, you have to make a Wall of Voodoo reference, don’t you?

We suspect FreeWave Technologies won’t find a reason to complain. After all, the Colorado-based manufacturer of radios for critical data transmission has just won more business from Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the Mexican company that generates, transmits and distributes power to nearly 100 million customers, making it one of the largest utilities in the world.

CFE already uses FreeWave’s wireless data radios in nine of its 16 divisions throughout Mexico. The deployment has enabled the utility to overcome “difficulties due to distance and maintaining line of site in its communication networks,” according to Federico Ibarra Otero, an engineer at Ampere, FreeWave’s reseller partner in Mexico.

“There were some locations where the monitoring devices were remotely located and required repeaters,” Otero said. “FreeWave offered a solution that tackled both the distance and line of sight issues and we have achieved more consistent,
reliable and modern links since implementation.”

CFE now plans to expand its use of FreeWave’s technology to enable a large smart-grid project.

“The success with CFE confirms that our wireless solutions are making progress across the globe in the smart-grid market,” said Ashish Sharma, FreeWave’s chief marketing officer. The latest deployment, he added, “will bring new efficiencies to CFE’s network.”

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