Numerous considerations are in play for utility officials when choosing a data communication system. It is a substantial investment, with the eyes of regulatory agencies and customers watching intently. Among the smartest of decisions an official can make during the selection process is to minimize transmission risk and increase credibility by achieving predictable reliability. To do so, it is necessary to secure a guaranteed position from which to operate within America’s finite radio spectrum bandwidth. Primary use licenses supply that position, with protection from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as compared to the doubts, restrictions and uncertainties associated with secondary use licenses.
This white paper illustrates why the primary use license is a superior asset in the AMI metering industry over its secondary use counterpart. It also illuminates an unfortunate marketing ploy by secondary license holders: Describing transmissions as being sent through a “licensed” spectrum. While technically accurate, the entire truth is that every major vendor has a secondary use license, except Sensus, which operates on a primary use system that does not contain the constraints of secondary spectrums.
The advantages of transmitting through a primary use system are many, and comparisons between primary and secondary systems can be delineated clearly and without hesitation. However, the single most important benefit rests in the amount of control the utility has access to. In a primary use system, the utility has 100 percent control of its transmission environment - a monopoly protected and guaranteed by the FCC’s Universal Licensing System.