Energy and Power En gi neering, 2011, 3, 53-60
doi:10.4236/epe.2011.31008 Published Online February 2011 (
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. EPE
On the Communication Requirements for the Smart Grid
Mohamed Daoud, Xavier Fernando
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Received November 5, 2010; revised December 15, 2010; accepted January 7, 2011
The current power grid is facing many challenges that it was not designed or engineered to handle which
range from congestions and major blackouts to the overwhelming increase in demand and security concerns.
The current electric grid was established before the 1960’s. It is believed that the electric grid is the most
complex and gigantic machine ever made in human history; it consists of wires, cables, towers, transformers
and circuit breakers installed together in outdated manner. During the 60’s, computers and sensors were used
to monitor and slightly control the grid; however, fifty years later these sensors are considered less than ideal .
Presented here is a review of the smart grid communication network in terms of configuration, bandwidth
and latency requirements as well as the technology used. We simulate the access layer of the smart grid net-
work and show that no single available communication technology can be used for all layers of the smart
grid; thus, different technologies for different layers are needed. A new protocol for optimizing the smart
grid is recommended.
Keywords: Smart Grid, Core Network, Distribution Network, Access Network, Energy, Latency, Bandwidth
1. Introduction
Climate change and global warming have been among
the major concerns of human beings over the last few
years. Recently huge efforts have gone into integrating
renewable and green sources of energy with the grid and
making the grid smarter; that is, to increase its energy
efficiency, storage and moderate energy consumption.
To that extent reducing and shifting peak load are es-
sential to support renewable energy generation and
would lead to shutting down the extra, carbon-intensive
power plants that are used only during peak hours.
Therefore, governments along with utilities hav e put into
effect mechanisms to reduce peak demand, including
time-of-use pricing, installation of load management
devices, load shifting and peak eliminating technologies.
The Smart grid designed for the future electricity sys-
tem encompasses many of these solutions and technolo-
gies. It empowers energy consumers as well as utilities to
gain better control over energy consumption.
However, it seems that these are all impossible with-
out considering the key role of communication technol-
ogy. In fact, various communication technologies have
the potential to revolutionize today’s grid and expedite
renewable energy projects.
If we look at the electric grid in the United States we
will see that it consists of 3,100 electric utilities operat-
ing more about 10,000 power plants and 131 million
customers consuming more than 3,500 billion kwh every
day [1,2]. Between them there are 157,000 miles of high
voltage electric transmission lines [1]. The average age
of the power grid transmission lines is 50-60 years [3]. In
the decade from 1988 to 1998, the electricity demand in
the U.S grew by 30%, yet only 15% of new transmission
capacity was added [4]. This is a giant machine that
needs to be operated efficiently to save both resources
and the environment. But due to its age, being somehow
deregulated and inefficient it is very hard to solve this
optimi zation problem.
The current system is inefficient because when a fault
occurs the utility does not know unless the customers call
in. Also because of the congestion and many blackouts
that take place regularly, such as the one in the summer
of 2003 in the Northeastern US and in Canada. Power
outages and power quality issues cost U.S businesses
more than $ 100 billion on average each year [3]. Power
inefficiency has a negative im pact on the environment as
well. To be more specific, roughly 40 percent of Amer-
ica’s total CO2 emissions come from the production of
electricity used in homes, offices, and factories [5]. To
add intelligence to an electrical power transmission sys-
tem, we need to have independent processors in each
component and at each substation and power plant.
These processors must have a robust operating system
and be able to act as agents that can communicate and
cooperate with each other to compose a large distributed
computing pl atform [6].
No one clear definition for the Smart Grid can be
found, but it can be described as Advanced Metering
Infrastructure (AMI) accompanied by substation and
distribution automation services and enhanced distribu-
tion and outage management. This shows the wide range
of requirements and expectations from the Smart Grid.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) defines the
Smart Grid as, “A power system that serves millions of
customers and has an intelligent communications infra-
structure enabling timely, secure and adaptable informa-
tion flow needed to provide power to an evolving digital
economy” [7]. Smart Grid will offer a system-wide “ma-
cro” view in aid of conserving electrical energy within
the grid and related distribution systems [8], by control-
ling some home appliances such as the thermostat of the
air conditioners, charging the Plug in Hybrid Electrical
Vehicle (PHEV), and switching the washing machines,
dryers, and dishwashers to low demand times when the
hydro is less expensive. These appliances will be smart
and equipped with a special chip; the smart appliances
could talk to the grid and decide how to operate best and
automatically schedule their activities at strategic times
based on available generation [9]. The smart meter will
play an important role here; also the existence of a robust
reliable communication network is essential.
Smart Grid can be described as an energy network, a
network just like the internet. Rather than downloading
and uploading data, customers will download and up load
electricity [10]. Rather than having a modem indicating
how many megabytes of data downloaded or uploaded,
customers will have smart meters showing the kilowatts
they used or generated and the price according to the
time of use. Smart Grid is information technology infra-
structure meeting electrical infrastructure to satisfy fu-
ture energy needs; it will combine the maturity of the
electric grid with the efficiency, connectivity, and cost
gains brought about by information technology [11].
IEEE recently took the initiative to define the standards
and guidelines for the Smart Grid; IEEE P2030 was
formed for that purpose [2].
According to the United States Department of En-
ergy’s Modern Grid Initiative report, a modern smart
grid must:
1) Be able to heal itself
2) Motivate consumers to actively participate in op-
erations of the grid
3) Resist attack
4) Provide higher quality power that will save money
wasted from outages
5) Accommodate all generation and storage options
6) Enable electricity markets to flourish
7) Run more efficiently
8) Enable higher penetration of intermittent power
generation sources
This paper presents a complete review of the commu-
nications requirements for the smart grid and the work
done so far.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2
presents the hierarchy of the communications system and
also discusses latency, b andwidth, an d Quality of Service
(QoS). Section 3 is a description for all three layers of
the network. Section 4 presents some of the work already
done. Finally Section 5 concludes our review and gives a
glimpse of some future work.
2. Communications for Smart Grid
Integrated, high performance, highly reliable, scalable,
ubiquitous, and secure-these are the characteristics de-
scribing the smart grid communication network. The
communication network will be responsible for gathering
and routing data, monitoring all nodes and acting upon
the data received.
Apparently the amount of data transferred daily will
be huge and very sensitive, so the communication net-
work must be secured against external attacks. Smart
grid communication network will depend on both wire-
less and wired communication technologies; however,
one of the main challenges of the smart grid communica-
tion network is that wireless technologies are totally
turning over every 4-6 years and utilities are building
systems for 15-20 years. This is why unifying and con-
verging networks around IP is so critical. Hence arises
the idea of communication networks not being tied to a
specific carrier technology. Another challenge is the se-
curity; keeping all this information secured and prevent-
ing hackers from getting in to the grid is truly a matter of
national security.
In [10], S. Keshav and C. Rosenberg compared the
smart grid communication n etwork to the internet, which
is the largest and most important communication net-
work on earth. One of the main differences is the avail-
ability; the internet is not available at every house, but
the smart grid should be available to every house with
high reliability. The smart grid communication network
will be like the intern et in the sense of be ing a delay tol-
erant network, providing congestion control, and operat-
ing in distributed control manner.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. EPE
2.1. The Communications Network Hierarchy
Smart Grid communication network will be a ne twork of
networks that may use different communications tech-
nology or just one, allowing two-way, reliable, and se-
cure communications.
It will be formed of millions of smart meters at cus-
tomer premises connected to a few thousand substations,
which in turn will be connected to fewer control centers
and power plants. The network will be huge; thus, it is
recommended to take the form of clusters according to
geographical locations. Each cluster will have a limited
number of smart meters ranging from a few hundred to a
few thousand connected to a few substations and control
centers. A cluster may or may not have a power plant as
power plants will be shared between more than one clus-
There will be three different layers in the communica-
tions network, as described in [12].
Core network handles connectivity between substa-
tions and utilities’ head offices i.e. control centers.
Distribution network as shown in Figure 1, handles
broadband connectivity fo r transmitting data co llected by
the smart meters sensors and concentrators located on the
grid to their related databases and analytics servers,
which are located at headquarters.
Access network handles last-mile connectivity at
homes, offices, and municipal facilities to the smart me-
Millions of messages every second will be going back
and forth in the network; different messages for different
reasons can be sorted into three main categories [13,14].
Real-Time Operational communication require-
Administrative Operational communication requi-
Administrative communication requirements
Real-Time Operational communication is the commu-
nication in real time required to maintain operation of the
power system [13]; it is the control and protection for
Figure 1. Smart grid distribution network.
messages. It requires low latency and has a highly suc-
cessful delivery rate.
Administrative Operational communications require-
ments are usually those messages that describe major and
minor system disturbances like local event recorders,
disturbance recorders, and power swing recorders. These
do not need to take place in real time. This type of in-
formation is needed to predict future demand.
Administrative communication requirements include
the voice communications between different locations
for administrative purposes. This type of communication
can be carried over cellular or land line networks; it does
not necessarily need to be part of the smart grid commu-
nications network.
These different categories point out one of the main
requirements for the smart grid communication network
which is supporting QoS in order to prioritize traffic on
the network.
2.2. Requirements for Smart Grid
Communication Network
Latency is the delay in the network or the expression of
how much time it takes for a packet of data to travel from
one point on the network to another. There is a need for a
communication infrastructure with exceptionally tight
latency characteristics as it is one of the most stringent
requirements for the grid. If the control center misses any
input, then it might substitute the missing input with in-
puts from other sensors which can produce different ac-
tions that co ul d l ead to erroneous resul t s [ 1 5] . K . M oslehi
et al. [16] discussed latency within the smart grid com-
munications network. They explained that the network
will have different latency times; the grid is huge so if the
data sent is for the purpose of system wide coordinated
controls it should have higher laten cy (slower cycle) than
if the data is required for local analytical needs or re-
sponding to rapid events (faster cycle).
Bandwidth: it is extremely important to determine th e
bandwidth requirements for the smart grid communica-
tion network because it is a direct factor when choosing
the transmission media (e.g. fiber optics, radio waves,
coaxial cables, etc.) as well as choosing the communica-
tions technology (e.g. 3G, LTE, WiMAX etc.). IEEE
P2030 standard is still trying to define the bandwidth
requiremen ts [17]. An im portant point he re is that because
of the extremely large number of endpoints, the commu-
nications system bandwidth requirements can quickly
become untenable if appropriate precautions are not tak-
QoS: Not all messages have the same importance nor
should they be delivered within the specific latent pe-
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. EPE
3. Layers of the Network
3.1. Core Network
In [18,19], K. Moslehi et al. gave an example of a Dis-
tributed Autonomous Real Time (DART) smart grid
network consisting of 10 regions, each region having 20
control centers; each control center is connected to 500
substations, according to the geographical areas. Each 10
substations can be grouped into a zone.
According to the DART system in [18,19 ], the latency
calculated in the control area between the 500 substations
and their control center is 240.8 msec. This value meas-
ures latency in the system but does not indicate the
maximum tolerable latency.
In [15], V. k. Sood et al. discussed the latency within
smart grids and concluded that faults require continuous
high rate monitoring by the control centers. For rapid
detection of such faults th e latency shou ld be in the order
of tens of mi lliseconds , with 100 msec being the accepte d
fault detection time in medium sized systems.
For bandwidth calculation purposes, a snapshot taken
at the control area in the DAR T system [18,19] shows that
the required transfer rate is 5.089 MB/sec. This number
may seem large due to the extensive DART s ystem where
500 substations are connected to one control center, but a
smaller system as in [15] with three voltages and three
currents to be sampled and sent to a control centre have
only a 2-5 Mbits/s ba ndwidth requirement. This data rate
is indicative of an application with a relatively low to
medium data rate production.
Fiber optics can be used for communication in the core
network. They were recommended in [15] because of
their very low latency of under 5 µsec latency per kilo-
meter length of strand. But fiber is not available to all grid
operators, and not all points in the system can have fiber
cables extended to them. In [20] the author agrees wi th the
above argument and suggests optical fiber because of its
low latency; however, the problem again seems to be
deploying the fiber optics all over the network and to the
customer premises. The author highlighted the idea that
different technologies can be used for different parts of
the network as long as they can talk to each other i.e.
based on IP. Since the core network is the part that han-
dles connectivity between substations and utilities’ head
offices/ control centers, so installing fiber optics will not
be as difficult because the num ber of substations and head
offices is relatively small and usually built in specific
locations carefully chosen b y the utility company.
3.2. Distribution Network
The following calculations done in [18,19] for the DART
system measure the latency within the substation: be-
tween smart meters and a specific substation is 2.2 msec
and in the zone between substations i s 4.8 msec, but this is
not the maximum tolerable latency.
The maximum tolerable latency is higher; the latency is
in the order of a few milliseconds, around 10 msec [2]
while in [18] it was assumed to be 12 msec; i.e. 6 msec
one-way delay. These latency requirements change sig-
nificantly in case of islanding. Islanding is the condition
where the power grid is broken into independent asyn-
chronous sections, each having its own generators and
loads. According to the IEEE standard 1547-2003 the
Distributed Resource (DR) must detect the unintentional
islands and cease to energize them within 2 seconds of the
formation of the island [15]. Unintentional islanding may
lead to abnormal voltage and frequency change out of the
acceptable range. In [15] the latency in case of islanding
was estimated to be maximum 6 cycles or 100 msec.
Pramode Verma et al. [2] proposed a method to calcu-
late the bandwidth in distribution network by assuming a
system of one transmission substation connected to one
distribution substation and control center connected to
10,000 feeders. Each feeder is connected to 10 smart
meters, making a total of 100,000 smart meters each
sending one message per second in addition to the control
messages. Thus, in the case of busy hour the syste m may
have one million messages per second. Assuming each
message is 100 bits, the latency requirement is 10 msec
and the messages follow a Poisson discipline at each node,
bandwidth is calculated to be 100.01 Mbps. Changing the
delay requirement to 10 msec for 99% of the messages
causes the bandwidth to increase to 100.056 Mbps. Re-
peating the same calculations for a 400 bit message, the
bandwidth was found to be 400.04 Mbps, but if the delay
is limited to 10 msec for 99% of the messages the band-
width increases to 400.086 Mbps. It was concluded that
both of these situations result in very poor bandwidth
utilization, while a higher level of utilization will not
meet the assumed latency constraint [2].
Utilizing the bandwidth is an important issue that
needs to be carefully studied; Carl H. Hauser et al. [21]
proved that a T1 line carrying a 400 bit message with
latency constrain t of 10 msec results in utilizing 6% only
of the T1 line.
In [16,18], the required transfer rate was found to be
3.31 MB/sec in the substation and 8.1 MB/sec within a
zone formed of 10 geographically grouped substations In
Distributed Autonomous Real Time (DART) system
which they proposed, the maximum data transfer rate
required is 8.1 MB/sec. According to the analysis, the
size of data for a snapshot describing the instantaneous
status can vary between 2.5 kBytes for a substation to
250 Mbytes for the entire grid [18]. This type of infor-
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. EPE
mation is ve ry usef ul fo r det e r mining the bandwidth.
As a communication technology for the distribution
network, WiMAX seems to be a very good candidate as
it has the benefits of fiber, such as low latency and large
bandwidth. At the same time it can be easily deployed as
it needs no line of sight and no expensive physical infra-
structure as fibers do. Other ben efits of WiMAX include
the following: it provides higher speed than 3G, it is an
emerging broadband wireless access technology and it
can provide high-speed connection to internet, with data
transmission less than 50 km [22]. One of the most im-
portant advantages of WiMAX, besides the high trans-
mission rate is the QoS guarantees, also the adaptive
modulation and closed loop power control are very at-
tractive options. In the Smart Grid some messages may
be more important than others — the control messages
should have higher priority than billing messages for
example [22]. WiMAX is an attractive solution to be
used in the communication network since WiMAX pro-
vides longer distance communications (10-30 miles) with
a data transfer rate of 75 Mbps while commun icating out
of sight. This system also communicates point to point
with different vendors, and the authors added that it may
be used as the spine of transmission and distribution
communications system [23]. In [15], the authors ex-
pressed their interest in wireless technologies, especially
4G like WiMAX and LTE as both can provide low la-
tency and high bandwidth. Moreover the QoS, ensures
that traffic can be prioritized on the network also they are
built on IP. In [15], it was mentioned that wireless tech-
nology 4G especially WiMAX can be used for transfer-
ring data from smart meters from homes to transformer
stations and contro l centers as it will give h igh sp eed and
low latency. Latency in a WiMAX link from the base
station to CPE (customer premises equipment) is typi-
cally equal to or less than 10 ms [15].
WiMAX will easily satisfy the bandwidth require-
ments of the distribution network as it offers large band-
width ranges between 5MHz to 20 MHz.
3.3. Access Network
The smart meter will not only show the customer’s usage
and generation, but will also collect in formation fro m the
smart appliances at home through an access network
indicating the customer’s behavior and informing the
grid of any increase or decrease in demand.
The amount of data will depend on the number of
smart appliances in the home; the more smart appliances,
the more bandwidth needed. Figure 2 shows a smart
meter collecting data from smart appliances through the
access network and sending this data to the substation
through the distribution network. Not all appliances will
Figure 2. Smart meter collecting data from the access net-
work inside a house and passing it to the distribution net-
be sending/receiving data at the same time. They will
send/receive at scheduled times or when needed. It will
be easy to design and manage the access network be-
cause of its small size and the limited amount of data to
be transferred.
In [20] an in home network was mentioned where the
smart appliances can communicate to the smart meter
with a data rate of 20 Kbps while the maximum data rate
is 128 Kbps.
Such network can use any short range communication
technology like ZigBee or bluetooth. In fact ZigBee is
preferred because it is an open standard protocol based
on IEEE802.15.4 which is a high level communication
protocol using small low power digital devices designed
for low cost and low power communications. Because
ZigBee can activate (go from sleep to active mode) in 15
msec or less, the latency can be very low. Because Zig-
Bees can sleep most of the time, average power con-
sumption can be very low, resulting in long battery life.
Zigbees have a small range and limited bandwidth and
the data rate isn’t very high compared to fiber as an ex-
ample, so they are more suitable for indoor applications
like home automation. This technology is even preferred
over Bluetooth in the short range applications because it
consumes far less power. The obvious result is an in-
crease in the life expectancy of the network [24].
Zigbee radio nodes are self organizing and self healing
when forming mesh networks. Given the fact that IEEE
802.15.4 radios can successfully transmit packets a dis-
tance of 50 meters — nearly half the length of a football
field-the meters can form either a mesh or star network
with other meters in the neighborhood [24]; 50 meters is
sufficient to allow communication between smart appli-
ances and the smart meter at home. Zigbee is both power
and cost efficient.
We did a simulation for an access network where we
assumed a typical mid-house size with 11 smart devices
communicating through a Zigbee network to the smart
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. EPE
meter. We assumed Poisson distribution for packets gen-
eration at the smart devices with a constant packet size of
1 Kbyte. Packets are sent to the smart meter as soon as
they are generated at the smart devices. We simulated 24
hours of traf fic on the access network and found th at the
end-to-end delay in the network ranged between 35 msec
and 80 msec, with a spike of 0.1 sec during the peak h our
of the day. Our results are shown in Figure 3. We calcu-
lated the average Bit Erro r Rate (BER) at the smart meter
and we got BER = 0.06 = 6%. In Figure 4 we plotted the
data throughput over the day; it ranged from 90 Kbps to
100 Kbps which shows that the minimum required
bandwidth should be a little bit over 100 Kbps.
A Smart grid communication network will consist of
different layers each using a different technology; thus,
all these technologies should be able to communicate
together using the same protocol. For best performance,
Figure 3. Average end-to-end delay in the access network.
Figure 4. Bandwidth of the access network.
all layers shoul d be IP net w orks.
IP networks are widely used because of their open
standard, simplicity, reliability, security, and robustness.
The world is going to the all-IP networks concept. IP is
being used in internet, computer networks, cellular net-
works, Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE (Long Term Evolution) and al-
most all new technologies where it provides a low cost
and efficient solution. On the other hand, there is Asyn-
chronous Transfer Mode (ATM), which is a packet-
switching technology that delivers data packets over vir-
tual circuits or preserv ed paths through the network [25].
ATM is more expensive than IP, but it provides guaran-
teed latency and drop rates. ATM is used as the back-
bone of IP networks to implement point to point links.
IP seems to be a more attractive solution for smart grid
networks than ATM in terms of the ability to interact
with other communication networks and the internet. It is
also in an economical method, as the cost of deployment
and maintenance can be reduced significantly with the
use of IP-based technol o gi es [2 ,2 0] .
When talking about IP it is necessary to mention the
layers on top of it. IP is usually backed with Transmis-
sion Control Protocol (TCP) to provide a higher delivery
rate and retransmission in case of lost data [15,21,22,25].
TCP is well known for having the highest level of packet
delivery assurance, but this comes at a price of higher
latency duty to the larg e overhead [15,21]. But it can still
be used in combination with prioritization through QoS
and used for highly important applications that need as-
sured delivery. User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is another
layer that comes on top of IP, but in contrast to TCP,
UDP is lightweight with smaller overhead and latency
than TCP but at the cost of non assured data delivery
because receipts are not acknowledged. A practical ap-
plication of UDP is the multimedia features over the in-
ternet, where the loss of some packets can be tolerated.
By analogy the same concept can be used for smart grid
communication network; TCP could be used for mes-
sages that require high delivery rate like control mes-
sages while UDP can be used for sending data where the
loss of some packets will not affect the overall perform-
ance of the system.
Currently most IP network are based on IPv4, bu t IPv6
protocol can be used; it has an address code set at 128 bit,
which means that there are 2128 IP addresses available.
IPv6 is supposed to be faster than internet IPv4, and it
will maintain dialogue with any object such as household
appliances, sensors and so on [22]. Although the IPv4
extensions allow multicast traffic and certain QoS, IPv6
is still preferred as it inclu des the following services and
new features: more addresses, mobility, security, etc [20].
It is recommended having the Smart Grid communica-
tion network as a separate entity from the internet as in
[2,21] where it was concluded that the public internet
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. EPE
will lack admission control and guaranteed latency de-
livery and will never be able to supply private data net-
work for the power grid infrastructure needs. The lack of
security of the internet is another major concern.
4. Current Projects
Many research projects and activities have been done in
the area of smart grids, and some of them are listed in
this section.
GAD project in Spain is targeting residential con-
sumption. They developed a Domestic Power Manager
(DPM) which is much like the smart meter, and took
many steps in defining a communication network using
open standard protocols to support active demand side
management [20,24].
GridStat is being developed by Washington State
University. They are offering a flexible approach to pro-
viding communication support for electric power grid
operations. It is based on a publish-subscribe (pub-sub)
model, where the substations periodically publish status
while the control centers and other substations subscribe
to a selected set of statuses [21,25].
DisPower, CRISP, MicroGrid and Fenix are differ-
ent projects adopting the concept of an internet-like net-
work in the sense that decision making is distributed all
over the network since the control nodes are spread
across the system [26].
Modern grid strategy [27] is a project by the U.S
department of Energy (DOE) that started in 2005 through
the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).
They are developing smart grid concepts and sharing it
with key stock holders. Their mission is to accelerate
grid modernization in the United States. They support the
idea of using different communication technologies in
different layers of the smart grid.
IntelliGrid is an initiative by EPRI to create the tech-
nical foundation for a smart power grid that links elec-
tricity with communications and computer control to
achieve tremendous gains in reliability, capacity, and
customer services. A major early product is the Intelli-
Grid Architecture, an open-standard, requirements-based
approach for integrating data networks and equipment
that enables interoperability between products and sys-
tems. This program provides utilities with the methodol-
ogy, tools, and recommendations for standards and
technologies when implementing systems such as ad-
vanced metering, distribution automation, demand re-
sponse, and wide-area measurement [28].
5. Conclusion
This paper presented a review of communications for
smart grids in which the specific needs of the smart grid
communication system were discussed. The hierarchy of
the system, nature of the network, latency, bandwidth
and proposed communication technologies to be used
were all surveyed. Current active projects were men-
tioned as well. It was found that the latency within the
distribution network should be kept at 10 msec, and the
required transfer rate in case of a zone containing 10
substations should be 8.1 MB/sec. Our simulation results
for the access layer in a smart grid network point out the
access layer requirements in terms of end-to-end delay,
and bandwidth. Also it was concluded that no single
communication technology will be able to satisfy the
requirements for the whole network; rather different
technologies shou ld be used for different parts.
There is still much work to be done in the smart grid
area, especially in the communications part. Since all of
the available communication techniques are off the shelf
technologies designed for different reasons, none of them
addresses the smart grid needs. Most of these technolo-
gies support mobility, handover, an d many other features
which are not needed for the smart grid due to its nature;
thus, a communication protocol should be developed and
optimized specially for the smart grids th at cover end-to-
end networks. This special protocol should be able to
automatically set the QoS configurations when applica-
tion requirements change based on th e grid events, and it
should translate the self-healing grid capability to self-
healing communication network.
6. References
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