Following the amendments issued by the Authority for Electricity and Gas (AEEG) it has been set a roadmap for the replacement of gas meters with smart meters that allows remote reading (EN_13757-4), as already in force for electricity.

The exchange of information between the gateway and the neighboring meters (connected to it) takes place using communication protocols standard with low consumption. In particular the one chosen for metering applications is represented by the Wireless MBus @ 169 MHz solution. The 169MHz frequency with its propagation characteristics, allows very high probability of coverage in an urban environment. The N-mode has been developed to insure long-distance communications.

The goal of the planning is the creation of a remote-management infrastructure for smart metering which allows to minimize the number of concentrators (which have the purpose of collecting data from the groups of measurement - GDM -) maintaining an appropriate level of service and taking into consideration all relevant aspects such as, for example, both the positioning of the concentrators itselves (high sites on existing BTS, roofs, etc. or low sites as in the case of lampposts) and the housing of the counters (niches).

The tool, through dedicated functionalities, allows to support the technician during each design step: from the search of the best sites for the positioning of the concentrators (always taking under control their number), passing through the determination of the gateway coverage highlighting the areas served by the concentrator itself, up to the whole network optimization. WinRPT is able to assist planning activities in different scenarios: urban (with various characteristics), rural and mixed.

Meters concentration in urban areas involves the need to have, in the great majority of cases, high resolution 3D territorial models (1 or 2 meters) with buildings characterization. in fact, buildings on one hand, help to identify the location of counters, on the other they represent the main obstacle to the signal propagation.

The WinRPT suite allows to describe in detail the Wireless Mbus @ 169 MHz technology through a specific Dll making use of deterministic propagation models with pathloss correction factors appropriate for different 3D environments.

Sedicom is able to provide territorial data as above described for almost all the Italian urban areas.

Alternatively, according to the area to be planned and the detail to be obtained can be chosen less resolute territorial modeling of regions using empirical propagation models, implemented in WinRPT, these too suitably adapted.