News | April 7, 2015

ABB Advances Oil Field Networking With New Well Pad Communications Hub


Tropos 6420-XA wireless mesh router provides performance, reliability, interfaces and protocols needed to support all well pad life cycle phases from lease to production

ABB recently introduced the Tropos 6420-XA, a fourth-generation outdoor broadband mesh router that is an oil well pad communications hub for all life cycle phases from lease to production. Using the Tropos 6420-XA, upstream oil and gas companies can now own a single wireless network to meet all their communication needs throughout the oil well pad life cycle. Communication networks based on the Tropos 6420-XA reduce operational expenses, help maximize oil production efficiency, enhance environmental and worker safety, and support high resolution data to enable improved operational and business decision making.

Each phase of an oil well pad’s life cycle requires different applications and has different communication needs. Tropos 6420-XA can support application needs throughout the well pad life cycle. This can eliminate the need to procure communication services. It can also integrate traditional communication devices such as serial masters, wireless I/O devices and narrowband SCADA radios into a modern wireless communication network. The router’s 802.11 wireless and 10/100/1000BASE-T wired interfaces provide connectivity for the most modern well pad equipment while the unit’s serial interfaces support connections to legacy equipment.

The Tropos 6420-XA mesh router utilizes the capabilities of the 802.11a/b/g/n family of wireless standards to deliver 600 Mbps total wireless data rate, 300 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and another 300 Mbps at 5 GHz. This broadband performance supports high resolution data and video monitoring at well pads. With access to 653 MHz of RF spectrum, the Tropos 6420-XA uses more available channels, automatically selecting the best frequency to avoid interference and maximize network reliability. The Tropos 6420-XA offers serial (RS-232 and RS-485) interfaces with Modbus (RTU), Modbus (ASCII) and raw serial support to easily integrate with legacy SCADA masters, wireless I/O controllers and narrowband networking systems.

“Using one field-based communication hub throughout all phases of the well pad life cycle can significantly reduce operational costs and increase efficiency for oil and gas companies,” said Chris Rittler, chief executive officer for ABB Wireless. “The Tropos 6420-XA provides the broadband performance, reliability and interface flexibility required to support the applications and devices used at well pads now and into the future.”

ABB is also introducing the Tropos 1410-XA wireless mesh router and wireless bridge for oil and gas field automation applications. The Tropos 1410-XA is a lower cost, single-radio device for connecting end devices such as remote terminal units (RTUs) on a well pad to a wireless mesh network infrastructure. 

Both the Tropos 6420-XA and Tropos 1410-XA are housed in castings made from Aluminum Association 360 alloy and plated with high-phosphorus electroless nickel to provide exceptional resistance to salt fog corrosion. This combination makes the new products particularly well suited for deployment in coastal and offshore areas where extreme humidity, salt fog, and high winds are commonplace. Both products are Class I, Division 2 (US) and Class I, Zone 2 (US and Canada) certified for use in hazardous locations.

The Tropos 6420-XA and Tropos 1410-XA are orderable now and come with a five-year warranty. An optional GPS and a variety of input power choices are offered for the Tropos 6420-XA. As with all Tropos mesh routers, the Tropos 6420-XA and Tropos 1410-XA can be managed using Tropos Control, a robust wireless network management system.

A more complete discussion of communication needs over the well pad life cycle can be found on ABB Wireless’s oil and gas industry solutions page. For additional information, go to, contact, or visit ABB Wireless at ENTELEC, April 7-9, 2015, Houston, Texas, booth 519. ABB Wireless is giving two presentations at ENTELEC, Cyber Security for Digital Oil Field Wireless Communication Networks: Look to Enterprises, Tuesday, April 7, 1:30 PM, Room 371 A, and Wireless Communication Networks for Digital Oil Fields, Thursday, April 9, 2:45 PM, Room 361 E.

About ABB
ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people. The company’s North American operations, headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, employ about 30,000 people in multiple manufacturing, service, engineering and other major facilities. For more information, visit

Source: ABB Measurement & Analytics

ABB Measurement & Analytics