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Interoperability – IOP

A term that is mentioned more frequently in the context of Smart Metering is interoperability. This means that devices, even from different manufacturers or device classes, can communicate with each other via a defined interface.
If communication-enabled devices are interoperable on one or more interfaces, they can interact or communicate with each other according to the common specifications. Communication-enabled devices are, for example, Smart Meters, data concentrators and Head End Systems (HES). The consideration of interoperability has to be done for each interface individually. For example, a data concentrator may be interoperable with more than one smart meter, whereas the smart meters need not be with the HES.
Interoperability makes it possible to use components from different manufacturers in a system network. The prerequisite for this is that the manufacturers coordinate their products and standardize the communication of the devices.
Advantages of an interoperable system include flexibility and independence in terms of choice of manufacturer, as well as the prevention of mass disruptions in operations.

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