Smart grid is an intelligent power network featured by its two-way flows of electricity and information. With an integrated communication infrastructure, smart grid manages the operation of all connected components to provide reliable and sustainable electricity supplies. Many advanced communication technologies have been identified for their applications in different domains of smart grid networks. This paper focuses on wireless communication networking technologies for smart grid neighborhood area networks (NANs). In particular, we aim to offer a comprehensive survey to address various important issues on implementation of smart grid NANs, including network topology, gateway deployment, routing algorithms, and security. We will identify four major challenges for the implementation of NANs, including timeliness management, security assurance, compatibility design, and cognitive spectrum access, based on which the future research directions are suggested.
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