Driven by aging infrastructure, heightened service expectations, escalating concerns over cyber security and rising rates, the electric power grid is entering a period of potentially unprecedented change. Meanwhile utilities are investing to build a modern robust smart grid that will facilitate greater levels of energy efficiency, manage transition to distributed energy and accommodate electric vehicles. The benefits of a smart grid are well know.

Nowadays grid updates are far more complicated than in the past because future requirements are to change significantly. Therefore the widespread implemenation has been difficult. That is where OSGP can play a signicifant role.


OSGP is targeted at utilities that want a multi-application smart grid infrastructure instead of a basic single function Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI). OSGP is not just for meters, it’s for a variety of smart grid devices. OSGP was designed to meet present and future advanced networking layer needs.

When selecting a standard for smart metering and smart grid, it's important to find a solution that:

  • Is able to adopt new technologies and open standards as they become available

OSGP supports an open architecture and does not lock utilities into a specific standard.

  • Offers an independent multi-application architecture

OSGP supports smart grid applications including smart metering applications.

  • Supplies critical information improving reliability and lowering cost

OSGP devices monitor the distribution grid and provide information about the condition of the distribution feeder itself allowing for proactive maintenance and improved outage restoration.

  • Provides a mature and complete ecosystem

OSGP has an ever growing list of industry vendors offering OSGP compliant products to utilities on all continents including meter vendors, software vendors and system integrators.

  • Is a future proof investment

OSGP supports remote firmware upgrades of all connected devices as well as supports extension of hardware for communication with local devices (i.e. HAN display).

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The OSGP Alliance and NMi Certin have worked together to define and implement a conformance test process for devices that implement the Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP).

The OSGP Alliance believes that it is important to have an independent company with extensive industry experience leading and offering the service of conformance testing in the Certification process of OSGP devices that was established by the OSGP Alliance.

NMi Certin has a long and respected history of providing consulting and technical services to the utility industry. Working together with the OSGP Alliance, NMi Certin provides a trusted source of verification for utilities that vendors’ products interoperate and conform to the OSGP specifications. For vendors of OSGP products, the establishment of a certification process by the independent stakeholder association OSGP Alliance and the conformance testing by an independent company like NMi Certin provides third-party validation of the OSGP implementations. This third party validation contributes to the confidence of the vendors in the product quality assurance process. The conformance testing and certification process includes:


1. Become an OSGP Alliance member
Only members of the Alliance can submit products for certification

2. Submit a product for certification
Send your sample product, called Device Under Test (DUT) to NMi Certin

3. Certify your product at the Certification Lab
The Conformance Testing is performed by NMi Certin as an independent test house applying the official OSGP Conformance Test Tool (OCTT) that has been validated and accepted by NMi Certin.


If the Conformance Testing is completed successfully, NMi Certin will generate a test report to be submitted to the OSGP Alliance. OSGP will issue the 'OSGP Compliance Certificate', being valid for the device in the rest report. If changes affecting the implementation of OSGP are made on the hardware or firmware, a new test should be performed in order to obtain a new Certificate.

Any questions concerning the OCTT or the conformance and certification process should be submitted to the OSGP Alliance:


The OSGP Alliance provides the following support services:

  • Verification of test reports and issuing Certificates;
  • Archiving the test reports;
  • Maintenance of the list of OSGP compliant devices;
  • Training upon request or as part of OSGP seminars;
  • Answering questions concerning the OCTT or the process

OSGP is a family of specifications published by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). OSGP, ETSI TS 104 001, is a relatively new but widely used specification for smart meter and smart grid devices, with over 5 million OSGP based smart meters and devices deployed worldwide.

OSGP is a very efficient data representation and interchange protocol that delivers high effective throughput on narrowband Power Line Communications (PLC) and other links.

OSGP Open Standard

The OSGP Standard is accepted as open standard and described by various international standard organizations:

  • ETSI TS 104 001 Open Smart Grid Protocol; (Application Layer 7)
  • ETSI TS 103 908 Power Line Telecommunications (PLT) BPSK Narrow Band Power Line Channel for Smart Metering Applications. (Layer 1)
  • IEC/ISO 14908 Control network layer (Layers 2-6)
  • CEN/CENELEC CLC/TS 50586 Open Smart Grid Protocol
  • IEC 62056-8-8, DLMS/COSEM Suite -  Communication Profile for ISO/IEC 14908 series networks

These standards work in conjunction with the ISO/IEC 14908 control networking standard to provide a reliable, scalable, high-performance infrastructure for smart grid applications that can cost-effectively meet the needs of utilities today while giving them the headroom to add new devices and applications to their networks to solve whatever new challenges the future brings.

With over 5 million OSGP based smart meters and devices already deployed worldwide, OSGP is one of the most widely used and field-proven smart meter and smart grid device networking standards. OSGP takes a modern, structured approach following the OSI protocol model to meet this challenge as shown in the following figure:



Application Layer

For the Applications Layer, OSGP adapts the ANSI C 12 table structure for a networking protocol, not just for meters but for other utility related devices as well. At the application layer, ETSI TS 104 001 provides an efficient table-oriented data storage and command system that provides for not only smart meters and related data but for general-purpose extension to other smart grid devices. Much like SQL databases provide an efficient and flexible query language for enterprise applications, OSGP provides an efficient and flexible query language for smart grid devices. As with SQL, OSGP support reading and writing of single attributes, multiple elements, or even entire tables. This is an important capability of the protocol, which enables it to be very bandwidth efficient. As a modern protocol developed for use in networked smart grid systems rather than one adapted from point-to-point dialup or optical connections, OSGP includes capabilities for an adaptive, directed meshing system. This intelligent meshing system enables any OSGP device to serve as a message repeater, further optimizing bandwidth use by repeating only those packets that need to be repeated.  OSGP also include both authentication and encryption for all exchanges to protect the integrity and privacy of data as is required in the smart grid. OSGP enables the Smart Grid to assist customers better manage their energy use, while also enabling utilities ensure a high level of reliability and service to their customers. OSGP helps DSOs more effectively and efficiently manage their networks including handling future challenges associated with the additions of renewable energy sources, electric vehicles and distributed generation.

Networking Layers

For the Networking Layer, OSGP uses EN14908-1 with extensions for security, authentication, and encryption. The intermediate layers of the OSGP stack leverage the ISO/IEC 14908 control networking standard, a field-proven multi-application widely used in smart grid, smart city, and smart building applications with more than 100 million devices deployed worldwide. ISO/IEC 14908 is highly optimized for efficient, reliable, and scalable control networking applications. The low overhead of ISO/IEC 14908 enables it to deliver high performance without requiring high bandwidth.

Physical Layer

At the Physical Layer, OSGP uses ETSI TS 103 908 as its power line communication standard, but it is not tied to a specific communications physical layer. Since it builds on ISO/IEC 14908, which is media independent, OSGP has the possibility to be used with any current or future physical media. The many protocol and optimizations efficiencies described earlier enable OSGP to deliver high performance and reliability over media with moderate raw data rates, providing OSGP with an implementation cost advantage over less efficient, higher bandwidth systems. Given the focus on efficiency, reliability, cost-effectiveness, and risk reduction, OSGP today uses ETSI TS 103 908 as its physical layer.  ETSI TS 103 908 provides a very high power line link budget, a more meaningful measure of performance than raw data rate since it relates to the capability of packets to reliability transmitted and received over extended distances under very harsh conditions and thus drives how much useful work can be performed over the channel. Although a new standard, products that conform to ETSI TS 103 908 prior to is formal adoption have been on the market for many years and about 40 million smart meter and grid devices have successfully been deployed worldwide, providing confidence that ETSI TS 103 908 meets the real-world challenge present on the power grid.