Nokia has announced that it has provided a private 4.9G/LTE wireless network and future 5G to Western Power Distribution (WPD) in the UK. The private LTE network will be used for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) testing, as well as other mission-critical systems such as voice services.
Western Power Distribution’s "LTE Connecting Futures" trial is testing a new LTE network to enable its smart grid. The 4.9G/LTE core, radio and user equipment were supplied by Nokia for WPD’s research at its Test and Development Centre in Taunton, UK. WPD’s communications network provides secure, resilient and reliable services to support the daily operations of the company who distributes electricity to the Midlands, South West and Wales. These services include the use of licensed and unlicensed radio, microwave, and fibre networks.
“Through the challenges posed by the pandemic, we have worked closely with Nokia over the last two years to demonstrate the capability of its 4.9G/LTE private wireless solution to support the operation of our smartgrid including SCADA, voice, video and data services. We have been able to document key learnings to share with the utility industry that confirm the suitability of 4.9G/LTE and 5G to provide the connectivity platform for tomorrow’s grid," said Phil Rigden, Telecoms Manager for WPD.
Nokia worked with WPD to install and test Nokia 4.9G/LTE MPW private wireless, as well as the mission critical Nokia Group Communications Talk/Video solution, together with Nokia Industrial user equipment, including workpads, supporting SCADA and other applications. Integrated and optimised to represent a ‘typical’ private LTE network in Band 87 (410-430Mhz), WPD tested operational characteristics, including assessment of throughput in interference and non-interference environments.
Private wireless network slicing
Private wireless network slicing was also trialled for possible use of the same physical networks by tenant companies in the gas and electricity sectors. As companies look to capture the transformational benefits of Industry 4.0, energy companies turning to Nokia for private wireless networking include Siemens, QTnet, Equinor and Elektro. Nokia boasts more than 340 large enterprise customers across industries worldwide, of which over 40 incorporate 5G and so is considered a leader in private wireless networking worldwide.
"The industrial test environment we have established with WPD is providing a platform to trial various grid use cases on private wireless networks. These include Active Network Monitoring, power quality measurements, CCTV, distributed generation and automation of the smart grid. The range of applications and uses of private wireless will further support the industry to meet the regulatory challenges of providing clean, sustainable energy,” said Matthieu Bourguignon, Vice President Europe, Nokia Enterprise.