Igor Rotenberg confused the Ministry of Energy with his smart meters

The development of his company Mincomsvyazi proposed to designate a protocol for transferring data from smart meters.
Data transfer technologies from smart electricity meters to smart energy metering systems do not make sense to fix the regulations. This conclusion was reached last week by the meeting at the Ministry of Energy (Vedomosti familiarized with the final document, its authenticity was confirmed by the representative of the ministry and the meeting participant).

This was the answer of the Ministry of Communications: Deputy Minister Alexei Sokolov recommended that the Energy Ministry oblige everyone to use LPWAN radio technology and XNB protocol for transmitting data from smart meters - developed by Modern Radio Technologies (CPT, works under the Stryzh brand, controlled by Arkady Rotenberg’s elder son Igor and Andrew Shipelova).

XNB is a closed protocol: other manufacturers cannot use it, explained Nikita Utkin, chairman of the technical committee “Cyber-physical systems” under Rosstandart. СРТ may be a monopolist in the market of smart meters and smart electricity metering systems, the director of the Association of Internet of Things, Andrei Kolesnikov, feared.

The fears are in vain, the CPT representative assured (on Monday he could not get his comments): any equipment manufacturer can adapt his device to XNB. To do this, the company openly distributes a special developer kit with which a third-party developer can create their own device in the XNB technology. CPT is also working on the creation of an XNB chip, with which third-party devices can operate based on its protocol, the CPT spokesman noted. A spokesman for Rotenberg declined to comment.

76.2 million metering points

So many metering points were in Russia at the end of 2018, according to the Ministry of Energy. Of these, less than 10% of the meters meet modern requirements for intellectual accounting, said Pavel Livinsky, General Director of Rosseti,. According to him, about 300 types of meters of different generations and manufacturers are used, which cannot be integrated into a single intellectual system.

Third-party developers cannot develop solutions based on XNB: there are no open specifications of it, Utkin answers, as long as it is a closed solution that can be integrated with other devices only with the knowledge of CPT.

Therefore, the meeting at the Ministry of Energy decided that you first need to create a standard - a single “application protocol” of data transfer, which would ensure the interchangeability of meters from different manufacturers and ensure the compatibility of equipment when changing data transmission medium, the final document says. Only after fixing the application protocol can we talk about creating uniform protocols for various data transmission media, it is noted in it.

In fact, the meeting participants — officials, energy workers, and representatives of the operators — agreed on technological neutrality, Kolesnikov summarized.

Smart meters will be installed as old ones fail. Smart electricity metering systems themselves transmit energy consumption data and burglary or malfunction signals. They will also allow you to remotely limit the supply of electricity to the non-payer.

1.3 trillion rubles

In so many rated Rosseti digitalization program. Of these, 158 billion rubles. should go for smart meter installation. The company says it will clarify the cost of the program during the year.

The issue of requirements for smart meter control systems was discussed with representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Inter RAO, said the representative of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media Yevgeny Novikov. With the unlawful interception of smart meter control, hackers will be able to leave the whole city without electricity, and in the case of gas meters, turn on the gas in the apartment, he fears. He also recalls that DDoS attacks using smart devices are fixed in Russia since 2016. Information security of smart metering devices is important - the Ministry of Communications proposes to focus on the use of domestic and trusted technologies in this area, he said. In the billing, the resource-supplying organization can use any protocol of its own, but it is the meter management that should be carried out according to the protected domestic protocol, Novikov is sure.

The introduction of an intelligent accounting system may require 40–60 billion rubles each. per year over the years 2022–2030 - during this time, the majority of devices will be replaced, counted by the senior consultant of Vygon Consulting, Nikolay Posypanko. The employee of the developer of solutions for the Internet of things estimates the smart meter market at 65 billion rubles. per year in the next decade. He proceeded from the fact that annually, as now, about 9 million meters will be changed at a cost of between 6,000 and 10,000 rubles. each.

The Ministry of Energy believes that the regulation of the process and the rules for data exchange will increase the efficiency of interaction between metering devices and components of electric energy metering systems, a ministry spokesman said. The use of a single application protocol will allow controlled and secure access to information inside the metering device for various participants in the energy market and will allow holders of intelligent metering systems to “not become hostages” of specific manufacturers. “These features make it possible to simplify and cheapen the creation and subsequent operation of intelligent electricity metering systems, leaving this process open to competition between solution providers and the introduction of innovations,” said a ministry spokesman.

Representatives of the energy companies mentioned in the document declined to comment.

As an alternative to XNB, Utkin names the first national standard in Russia open protocol NB-Fi and the most popular international protocols NB-IoT (used by cellular operators to connect smart devices to LTE networks), LoRa (works on specialized narrowband data transfer networks for the Internet of things ) and LTE-M.