The Wi-SUN Alliance has announced its FAN Certification Programme.
For those who came in late, FAN is a communications infrastructure for very large-scale networks. In the same way, you use the internet on a smartphone or computer, a Field Area Network lets devices interconnect onto one common network.
The availability of the FAN Certification Program is the result of the vision, collaboration and dedication of some Wi-SUN Member companies. Through the certification program, the Wi-SUN Alliance certifies products based on their compliance to a communications profile derived from applicable open standards and their ability to interoperate with other Wi-SUN certified products.
The FAN Certification Programme will certify devices for use by utilities, city developers and other service providers to simplify and support large-scale, outdoor networks for smart cities, smart utilities and other IoT rollouts – and to help reduce costs and delays. Wi-SUN members plan to announce certified products in Q4 2018.
Phil Beecher, President and CEO of the Wi-SUN Alliance, said that proprietary systems were too inflexible, or as cost-effective as solutions based on open standards, and will become less relevant within a few years. Adhering to the Wi-SUN FAN profile based on open IEEE and IETF standards enables service providers, smart cities and utilities to deploy adaptable multi-service networks and will help ensure interoperability, not only today but for many years.
“Wi-SUN continues to be at the forefront of IoT innovation, and as cities, utilities and the industry grow their IoT networks, they increasingly recognise that industry-wide open standards are essential for interoperability and scalability. FAN Certification is an endorsement for governments and the industry that our members’ products are compliant to these open standards, and safeguards quality, interoperability, security, scalability – and ultimately gives customers a competitive advantage”, he said.
Key benefits of FAN Certification include:
• Offers utilities, cities and service providers adaptable multi-service networks that will help ensure interoperability today and for future generations.
• Reduces the time needed to evaluate new products, as behaviour, performance and interoperability are well defined.
• Eliminates single-vendor lock-in.
• Encourages the development of a global ecosystem of standards-based products, reducing the risk and costly impact of stranded assets.
A certified Wi-SUN rigorously tests all Wi-SUN certified products appointed third-party test lab to ensure the devices work together effortlessly and securely for rapid time to market. Accredited devices include a digital certificate to authenticate entry to a Wi-SUN FAN network, significantly reducing vulnerability to cybersecurity threats. Under a separate agreement, Wi-SUN has selected GlobalSign to provide Certificate Authority (CA) services to Wi-SUN Alliance member companies.
Alex Davies, Senior Analyst, Rethink Technology Research and Editor of RIOT said: “Open standards are one of the surest ways to ensure mass adoption of a technology. As with WiFi and the 3GPP cellular protocols, Wi-SUN’s FAN is delivering multiple choices for equipment and technology suppliers to facilitate customer interest. Energy suppliers and grid operators are concerned about vendor lock-in, particularly due to the long life cycles of their deployments. To this end, Wi-SUN should provide an answer to their mission-critical problems that other LPWAN options cannot. It opens the door for them to expand into other IoT markets, with smart cities a major opportunity.”
Iker Urrutia, Manager, Smart Grids, Avangrid said: “IoT networking solutions based on open standards and certified to the Wi-SUN FAN profile will be critical in obtaining true interoperability for utility applications, such as AMI, accelerating the digitisation of the grid cost-effectively.”
The FAN Certification Program has been developed through the collaboration of Wi-SUN member companies, including product vendors and collaborators participating in interoperability events to prove the specifications and certification test program. The following are among some of the companies who have been actively leading the way to certification: Analog Devices, Cisco, EPRI, Itron, Kyoto University/Nissin Systems, Landis+Gyr, Renesas and ROHM Europe.