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World's First Small-Sized and Low-Power "Radio Device" Compliant with Smart-Meter Standards of "ECHONET Lite" and "Wi-SUN"

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July 19, 2013

The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, President: Dr. Masao Sakauchi) has developed the world's first radio device compliant with both smart-meter standards of "ECHONET Lite" and "Wi-SUN." The former is a communication standard that is used for Home Energy Management System (HEMS) applications to connect smart meters or home appliances in the home to the HEMS. The latter is a global radio communication standard that certifies smart meter radio systems. The developed radio device has been certified as the world's first case of Wi-SUN compliant ECHONET Lite device by passing the certification tests by the ECHONET CONSORTIUM that standardized ECHONET Lite.

This achievement confirms that the Wi-SUN standard led by NICT is effectively applicable to communication interface for ECHONET Lite based home network. And, further advancement in smart meter development based on such two standards is expected.


Recently, research, development and implementation on "Smart Houses" and "Smart Buildings" that enable effective management and control of behavior and power consumption statuses on appliances set in houses and buildings and thereby provide an environment harmonized life style are rapidly advancing. In such Smart Houses and Smart Buildings, smart meters or home appliances set by the electricity or gas operators are assumed to be connected to HEMS (BEMS for buildings; Building Energy Management System) via radio links and to realize effective meter-readings and energy consumption management.

The ECHONET CONSORTIUM has standardized ECHONET Lite as a communication standard for HEMS/BEMS applications. The standard is already adopted by the electricity operators as the communication standard for next generation smart meter applications. However, in that standard, standardizations are focused on the specifications related to application layer, but not on the specifications related to so-called lower layer; transport layer, network layer, data link layer and physical layer. Thus, NICT has specified the IEEE 802.15.4g based specifications as for that lower layer collaborating with 30 domestic and foreign companies as the Wi-SUN alliance. Such Wi-SUN standard is adopted in JJ-300.10 standard that is a standard for the communication interface for ECHONET Lite based home network standardized by the Telecommunications Technology Committee (TTC) and is adopted in the recommended specifications declared by the electricity operators. However, there has not been developed radio device that is compliant with Wi-SUN standard and passes the certification tests by the ECHONET CONSORTIUM.


NICT has developed "radio device" that is compliant with TTC JJ-300.10 standard (System A and C) that is proposed by Wi-SUN alliance and with ECHONET Lite standard. By incorporating in smart meters, consumer appliances, HEMS and BEMS, the developed device can provide not only appliance control but also energy consumption management via radio communications. Moreover, the device can flexibly cope with various networks according to users' demands since the device supports both IP (IPv6 and 6LoWPAN) and Non-IP based functions. Finally the radio device has passed the certification tests by the ECHONET CONSORTIUM.

Future Prospects

The developed device that is compliant with both standards of ECHONET Lite (Application layer) and Wi-SUN (Network and other layers) and certified by the ECHONET CONSORTIUM is expected to be commercialized in the near future. While proceeding research and development on Wi-SUN compliant devices for smart meters, HEMS and BEMS that support detailed specifications for the electricity and gas operators, NICT is also seeking a suitable opportunity of technology (hardware and software) transfer as for the developed device.


Outline of the developed radio device
Fig.1: Usage Image of the developed radio devices
<Fig.1: Usage Image of the developed radio devices>

Fig.2: The developed radio device
<Fig.2: The developed radio device>
(Left: Appearance, Right: Inside view)

<Table 1: Specifications of the developed device>
 Size  84mm×70mm×20mm  (excluding antenna)
 Frequency band  926.2 ~ 928.0 MHz
 Modulation scheme  Filtered-2FSK (TTC JJ-300.10 (system A and C) compliant)
 Data rate  50, 100, 200kbps
 PHY payload length  0~2047 octets (1octet = 8bits)
 MAC layer  TTC JJ-300.10 (system A and C) compliant
 Higher layer  IPv6/6LoWPAN/UDP ( TTC JJ-300.10 (system A and C) compliant)

Technical Contact

Hiroshi HARADA, Fumihide KOJIMA
Smart Wireless Laboratory
Wireless Network Research Institute
Tel: +81-46-847-5074, +81-46-847-5084

Media Contact

Sachiko Hirota
Public Relations Department
Tel: +81-42-327-6923