Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

AT&T and Nokia partner to bring LTE to US utilities

Steve Rogerson
February 16, 2016
AT&T and Nokia are providing an option for US utilities to build a private, highly secure, reliable and high-capacity LTE network.
This combines AT&T spectrum with Nokia LTE technology. It covers utilities at times and places their own private networks cannot. Utilities will have continuity for their critical grid applications and they will have a network that can evolve with the distribution grid of the future.
“This offers utilities a new opportunity to modernise their field area network with a single, industry standards-based private broadband network,” said Kamal Ballout, vice president at Nokia. “Its end-to-end security approach, coupled with the ability to utilise AT&T’s commercial wireless network, where and when their own private network is inaccessible, will deliver exceptional service continuity for today’s critical grid applications along with true broadband capacity as the future distribution grid evolves.”
AT&T will provide licensed spectrum so utilities can establish their own field area networks (FANs) in their active footprint. Devices can reach deep into the distribution network. That opens options for more automation. It supports distribution functions at substations, renewable energy sources, as well as management and control of remote devices and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).
“Nokia and AT&T are addressing the challenges faced by utilities,” said Michael Troiano, AT&T vice president. “Together, our spectrum and Nokia’s LTE technology gives utilities the opportunity to update their FAN. They can have confidence these networks will perform to their requirements, now and in the future.”
The companies will help utilities migrate existing wireless devices and AMI collectors to a private broadband wireless system. This improves throughput and reliability. It also supports micro grids, metering and renewable energy sources to meet shifting market demand. The offer uses standards-based LTE technology to allow it to stay relevant in the future.