This paper addresses the planning and deployment of wireless heterogeneous networks (WHNs) for smart metering, based on a cross-layer solution. We combine the constraints of the network layer that considers routing and flow demands at each link in the WHN, while at the same time, we account for the restrictions of the physical layer referred to the capacity of a short range technology when used in a multi-hop fashion. We propose a model based on a column generation approach to solve the capacitated multicommodity flow problem (CMCF); the model includes wireless links capacities, coverage, and cost. The work integrates the multi-hop routing of packets in a mesh network formed by smart meters and concentrators connected to a cellular network via base stations. The traffic of each link is represented in a multigraph with the occupation percentage, and we build a scalable routing tree on a georeferenced map to represent a real deployment. The results describe the behavior of the proposed model in terms of the traffic load per concentrator, the network coverage, and the reduction of energy consumption. We demonstrate that an infrastructure cost reduction is achieved with the inclusion of multi-hop short range technology, which reduces the number of smart meters that require a direct connection to cellular technology. The model guarantees 100% coverage of the smart meters analyzed in each scenario. The calculation time of the CMCF for advanced metering infrastructure (CMCF-AMI) based on the column generation algorithm as the population increases is reduced by 10%, and this is the expected return when the population is considerable.
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