News | October 17, 2017

Utilities Look To RF Mesh To Address Network Optimization For Next-Generation Distribution Grid


Utilities will rely heavily on RF mesh networks as a key communication technology, according to new research commissioned by Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) and conducted by Zpryme. The research measured communication network priorities for next-generation distribution grid optimization for 350 utilities across the globe.The utilities surveyed noted that RF mesh networks offer flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the electric network – through a focus on areas such as open standards and interoperability – and can help maintain compatibility for future needs.

The research also highlights the top five trends that were common amongst the surveyed utilities:

1. Utilities recognize that their communication networks must change to enable the next-generation distribution grid. Just 6% feel extremely ready with their current communication networks to support changes coming to the grid in the next 5 years.

2. Fiber optic and RF mesh lead the future of layered communication networks. 74% will use fiber optic, and 65% will use RF mesh in the next decade.

3. Utilities will use RF mesh to address a variety of use cases for field area networks. Top use cases include distribution automation, fault detection and AMI.

4. No matter the technology or the need, reliability remains a top priority for communications networks. 91% said reliability is a priority for communications networks, followed by cost (78%).

5. Cybersecurity is the most significant concern with legacy communication networks. 56% listed cybersecurity as one of the top 3 pain points for their utility.

Utilities are under enormous pressure to update their business and service model to incorporate more renewable sources, restore service faster after weather events, and meet higher customer expectations. The results from this survey show that utilities are aware of these challenges and are mindful of the steps they need to take to address these challenges and pressures.

“These results show us that utilities are looking ahead to proactively prepare for the future needs – including connecting distribution automation, renewable energy, smart grid and smart city assets – for improvement in service and reliability,” said Matt Smith, Senior Director of Grid Management, Silver Spring Networks. “Utilities that are adopting standards-based, secure, reliable and scalable network platforms, such as the solutions offered by Silver Spring Networks, can optimize their grid networks to meet future needs and scalability demands.”

“The landscape of communication networks is drastically evolving as utilities aim to improve service and sustainability,” said H. Christine Richards, Vice President of Research, Zpryme. “This research highlights what utilities are prioritizing as they look to future next-generation distribution grid, and how these priorities may evolve.”

Silver Spring has more than 26.7 million enabled devices delivered on five continents. Silver Spring works with some of the world’s leading utility companies on grid management programs including Baltimore Gas and Electric, ComEd, CPFL Energia, CPS Energy, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), Pacific Gas & Electric, Pepco Holdings Inc., Sacramento Municipal Utility District and WEL Networks.

For a complete look at the communication network trends that are shaping the next-generation grid, download the white paper:

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About Silver Spring Networks

Silver Spring Networks enables the Internet of Important Things™ by reliably and securely connecting things that matter. Cities, utilities, and companies on five continents use the company’s cost-effective, high-performance IoT network and data platform to operate more efficiently, get greener, and enable innovative services that can improve the lives of millions of people. With more than 26.7 million devices delivered, Silver Spring provides a proven standards-based platform safeguarded with military grade security. Silver Spring Networks’ customers include Baltimore Gas & Electric, CitiPower & Powercor, ComEd, Consolidated Edison, CPS Energy, Florida Power & Light, Pacific Gas & Electric, Pepco Holdings, and Singapore Power. Silver Spring has also deployed networks in Smart Cities including Copenhagen, Glasgow, Paris, Providence, and Stockholm. To learn more, visit

About Zpryme

Residing in Austin, Texas, Zpryme is a research, media, and events agency with a focus on energy. Based on the creative direction of its associates, Zpryme produces influential research, the Energy Thought Summit (ETS), and premium branding experiences that challenge the status quo. Combined, ETS and Zpryme represent digital and physical solutions that share stories of real people and engage ideas and products influencing the grand energy transition. For more, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements about Silver Spring Networks’ expectations, plans, intentions, and strategies, including, but not limited to statements regarding trends in the utility industry, and benefits of Silver Spring’s technology. Statements including words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect” or “future” and statements in the future tense are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions, which, if they do not fully materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include those described in Silver Spring Networks’ documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Silver Spring Networks as of the date hereof. Silver Spring Networks assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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