Majority of U.S. smart meters to include home area networking connectivity

The home network, the last 100 feet of a cable network, is valuable real estate that cable operators have left pretty fallow. Telcos, satellite providers and even mobile wireless players (if you count femtocells) have all made inroads into the space and now yet another outside threat could be on the horizon. According to a report by Pike Research, 49 percent of smart meters worldwide and up to 81 percent of devices supplied by utilities in the U.S. will have home area networking (HAN) capability by 2013.

HAN is "a key enabler of a whole host of new consumer smart grid applications" such as "smart thermostats, energy information displays, smart appliances and other key tools for home energy management," Pike senior analyst Bob Gohn said.

It's probably not a stretch to believe that once in the home and controlling some devices the smart meter folks, led by ZigBee, Pike says, will try to control still other devices.

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