Wireless communication enabled meter and network

DC
  • US 7,379,981 B2
  • Filed: 01/02/2002
  • Issued: 05/27/2008
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/31/2000
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A self-configuring wireless network, comprising:

  • (I) a network cluster, comprising;

    (a) a first network including a plurality of self-configuring, individually addressable virtual nodes in which individual virtual nodes are independently operative to (i) initiate and establish a wireless communication connection with any other self-configuring virtual node associated with the first network during a self-configuration process, (ii) store information regarding the identities and/or location of other self-configuring virtual nodes with which the node has established a communication connection, (iii) generate data and transmit the data to other virtual nodes with which the node has established a communication connection, and (iv) receive data from virtual nodes and forward the data to other virtual nodes with which the node has established a communication connection;

    (b) a second network including a plurality of self-configuring, individually addressable virtual nodes in which individual virtual nodes are independently enabled with the capabilities to (i) initiate and establish a wireless communication connection with any other self-configuring virtual node associated with the second network during a self-configuration process, (ii) store information regarding the identities and/or location of other self-configuring virtual nodes with which the node has established a communication connection, (iii) generate data and transmit the data to other virtual nodes with which the node has established a communication connection, and (iv) receive data from virtual nodes and forward the data to other virtual nodes with which the node has established a communication connection;

    (c) wherein the first network communicates with the second network via a wireless communication connection between at least virtual node associated with the first network and at least one virtual node associated with the second network;

    (II) a virtual gate being communicatively coupled to the first and/or second network and configured to provide a communication access point between the network cluster and at least one external network; and

    (III) a virtual network operations entity configured to facilitate communications between the network cluster, and at the least one external network.

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