Wi-SUN Logo

Our Story

Introduction

In the world of large scale wireless mesh technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), Wi‑SUN Alliance® has emerged as the prominent player, shaping the landscape of connectivity and communication. But how did we come into being? How has the alliance developed since its inception? What unites our members and what is our plan for the future?

Take a deep dive into the history of Wi-SUN Alliance, unraveling its beginnings and evolution over the past decade.

The Grid Modernization Initiative

The beginnings of Wi-SUN Alliance can be traced back to the United States Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), brought in by George Bush in 2007. The legislation sought to increase energy security as well as reduce the USA’s dependence on oil through the expansion of renewables while also addressing climate change.

Following mass power outages down the East Coast, part of this legislation was a drive for grid  modernization, not only of the electricity generation and distribution network, but  improving resilience and energy efficiency with applications such as smart metering and demand response. These applications require a reliable, secure and scalable communications infrastructure. 

Partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric

Two major U.S. utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Florida Power and Light in Miami, FL, were some of  the leading utility companies in deploying smart meter systems. These early deployments used a proprietary mesh communications network, available only from one vendor. Fearing the risk of being locked into a single vendor, these utilities initiated the development of a wireless communication standard, to help establish a wider ecosystem of vendors.

Birth of the
Wi-SUN Alliance

The journey of Wi-SUN Alliance began in 2012 when the communications standard, IEEE802.15.4g, was published. This standard laid the foundation for last-mile wireless mesh technology, setting Wi-SUN Alliance on a path to becoming a key player in the Industrial IoT space.  The founding members of Wi-SUN Alliance had a mission to establish interoperable communications solutions for large scale IIoT networks, initially for Electrical Utilities, but with a view to evolve into communications for a wide range of IoT applications.

Evolution and Future Outlook

Over the years, Wi-SUN Alliance has continuously evolved, adapting to new technology trends, increasing data rates, and reducing power consumption. The alliance remains committed to improving its offerings and listening to customer feedback. Looking ahead, the future promises further advancements and alignment with emerging technology trends.

Diverse Membership Base

One distinctive aspect of Wi-SUN Alliance is its diverse membership base, encompassing silicon vendors, module vendors, product vendors, academic institutions and utilities. Since 2012 the alliance has grown from 8 founding members to more than 300 member companies, spanning 46 countries. The alliance serves as a B2B entity, providing interoperable solutions for city councils, utility companies, and other organizations looking to leverage its technology for smart city initiatives and beyond.

Engaging with Wi-SUN Alliance

As you explore Wi-SUN Alliance’s journey, it is important to consider the alliance’s dedication to collaboration and engagement. We encourage you to explore more about Wi-SUN Alliance, its members, and potentially join the alliance to contribute to the ongoing advancements in wireless mesh technology and IoT.