Digitimes Research: Wi-SUN widely used in Japan, but internationalization faces problems

Hana Hu, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0

Wi-SUN (wireless smart utility network), the Japan-developed wireless communication technology used in management of connected home appliances, has been popularly in the Japan market due to low power consumption, long-distance communications and high physical penetrability. But there are problems internationalizing Wi-SUN, according to Digitimes Research.

The problems are mainly: Wi-SUN is operated on unlicensed 920MHz radio frequency band, and the band is used in Japan and the US but not in Europe; there are few international members of ECHONET Consortium, an organization to boost smart-home communication protocol ECHONET and therefore it is difficult to promote ECHONET Lite standards outside Japan; cost for Wi-SUN modules is too high to be internationally price-competitive, Digitimes Research indicated.

Japan-based National Institute of Information and Communications Technology led the development of Wi-SUN based on IEEE 802.15.4g and then formed Wi-SUN Alliance with leading Japan-based suppliers of smart meters for specifying Wi-SUN standards.

Japan-based power companies in 2013 adopted Wi-SUN standards for communications between smart meters and HEMS (home energy management system) and later adopted Wi-SUN HAN (home area network) standards for communications between HEMS and various connected home-use electric appliances.

In addition to smart home management, Wi-SUN has been recently applied to locating lost old people with dementia and to agriculture.