RuggedCom and Itron Announce Partnership for Wireless Smart Grid Solutions

Solution will provide long-range IP-based wireless communications backhaul for smart metering and distribution automation for electric power utility companies

CONCORD, ON, May 25 /CNW/ - RuggedCom Inc. (TSX:RCM), a leading provider of rugged communications networking solutions designed for mission-critical applications in harsh environments and Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI), a leading technology provider to the global energy and water industries, announced today a partnership that will expand the scope of both companies' Smart Grid offerings. RuggedMAX(TM), an IEEE 802.16-2005 (WiMAX 802.16e) certified solution, will be integrated into Itron's OpenWay(R) smart metering solution as an additional WiMAX backhaul communications option for utilities. RuggedMAX(TM) recently passed interoperability and communications testing with OpenWay.

RuggedCom's utility-grade, flexible RuggedMAX(TM) solution provides high-speed, secure, prioritized, and long-range broadband wireless connectivity. It offers fixed and mobile connectivity - where permitted by FCC and Industry Canada rules - by supplying a comprehensive solution of base stations and subscriber units for fixed and vehicular deployments. The RuggedMAX(TM) solution provides advanced metering backhaul as well as distribution automation and field force communications using a single infrastructure - ensuring dedicated bandwidth for mission-critical applications with full quality of service (QoS) implementation.

Itron smart grid technologies are demonstrating how built-in, high-speed two-way communications give consumers more information about their energy usage, allow utilities to offer their customers greater choice in rate plans, and provide higher reliability at lower cost.

"The collaboration with Itron is part of our commitment to work with leading providers of Smart Grid solutions in the areas of AMI and DA," explains Elik Jaeger, Vice President RuggedWIRELESS for RuggedCom. "RuggedMAX(TM) is a, utility grade, standards-based solution that has been designed to meet the unique needs of utility customers. Solutions implemented today using RuggedMAX(TM) will allow utilities to add additional features and functionality in the future."

About RuggedMAX(TM)

RuggedMAX(TM) is a high-performance, long range, secure family of products fully compliant with the WiMAX 802.16e Wave 2 (MIMO) mobile broadband wireless standard. RuggedMAX(TM) is designed to extend IP networks over large distances to fixed and mobile users. The product family includes a variety of base stations and subscriber stations with differing output power, form factors and frequency options for use in licensed or license exempt bands. The RuggedMAX(TM) product family has gone through extensive end to end network interoperability testing to support multiple different ASN gateway platforms and 3rd party subscriber devices in order to give customers flexibility by leveraging the full WiMAX ecosystem. RuggedMAX(TM) with its compact form factor and flexible configuration is ideal for use in mission critical private networks.

RuggedMAX(TM) WiMAX technology creates a reliable, high-performance communications infrastructure enabling a high-performance Smart Grid.

About RuggedCom Inc.:

RuggedCom is a leading provider of rugged communications networking solutions designed for mission-critical applications in harsh environments. RuggedCom's technology solutions include Ethernet switches, network routers, wireless devices, serial servers, media converters, software and professional services. RuggedCom's products are designed for use in harsh environments such as those found in electrical power substations and "Smart Grids", intelligent transportation systems, industrial process control and military applications.

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For further information: For further information: For media or industry analyst support, please contact: RuggedCom Inc., Jamie Blakeley, Marketing Communications Coordinator, (905) 856-5288, 1 (888) 264-0006 toll free

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