ATM Backhaul over LTE for Electric Coop in Arizona

BEC’s Industrial Connectivity Solution Provides Secure and Reliable Cellular Connectivity for AMI Backhaul


Executive Summary

Customer: Electric Cooperative in Arizona with over 36,700 members, 43,500 meters, and more than 1,555 miles of line spanning portions of three counties. 

Application: AMI Backhaul over LTE

Solution: BEC MX-200A LTE-A Industrial Router and BECentral® CloudEdge Service Platform

Connectivity: Cellular 4G LTE Technology

Result: BEC’s industrial connectivity solution provides secure and reliable 4G LTE cellular connections for AMI backhaul in the remote locations 

The BEC MX-200A LTE-A Industrial Router was the perfect option to connect to the AMI collectors, providing highly reliable, secure, and cost-effective connectivity.

In recent years, the progress of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) has been remarkable, bringing it from a mere meter reading system to a comprehensive communications system. 

In addition, its capabilities have seen expanded bandwidth and decreased latency to allow for Demand Response/Load Management and Distribution Automation.

Challenges and Solutions

The Electric Cooperative has several remote locations where reliable connectivity is challenging. Typically, fiber is the preferred connectivity option; however, fiber deployment would be cost-prohibitive and impractical in these areas. So instead, the Electric Cooperative opted to try cellular 4G LTE technology and came across the BEC MX-200A Industrial 4G LTE Router.

Initially, only concerned about reliable connectivity to get meter reads back to the billing software, the Electric Cooperative found the MX-200A offered much more functionality. While LTE connectivity provides inherit data encryption and secure connectivity, the Electric Cooperative enabled native VPN termination on the MX-200A for an added layer of security. Additionally, the ultra-compact rugged IP50 form factor allowed for limited space installations, flexible DC power options of 8 to 56 VDC, and an industrial temperature range to support reliable operation in extreme temperatures in Arizona.  


The BEC MX-200A LTE-A Industrial Router was the perfect option to connect to the AMI collectors, providing highly reliable, secure, and cost-effective connectivity. The highly compact and versatile platform is full-featured,  integrating robust cellular connectivity, active GPS, multiple Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, RS-232 serial device IP connectivity, and enterprise-level functionality such as advanced security mechanisms, Quality of Service (QoS), SPI firewall, VPN Termination, and auto-failover for unparalleled uptime and network redundancy.

As the Electric Cooperative continued to add MX-200A devices to their network, they leveraged BECentral ® CloudEdge to accelerate deployments and integrate API functionality. 

The platform enables zero-touch provisioning visual dashboards with real-time analytics, detailed reporting, historical analysis, performance monitoring, proactive alerts/notifications, and API extensibility for 3rd party application integration. BECentral® has become an essential part of their day-to-day operations.  

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