Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Nokia deploys 450MHz LTE network for PGE Systemy

Steve Rogerson
April 21, 2020

Nokia has deployed a 450MHz private wireless LTE proof of concept (PoC) network for Polish power grid operator PGE Systemy. The 450MHz band is being adopted across Europe for smart grid applications.
The final private wireless network will potentially support 15,000 to 20,000 private radio users over LTE 4.9G, as well as wireless connectivity for up to 14 million smart meters and 35,000 existing and future scada connections.
PGE Systemy chose the 5G-ready, industrial-grade private wireless network following the trial of a 450MHz PoC network in operation since April 2019.
This marks a critical first step in evaluating the use of the 450MHz band to support the wide-area operations of energy distribution system operators (DSOs) across Poland. PGE Systemy will use the PoC infrastructure to develop its concept of a country-wide critical communications network.
The Polish Energy Ministry has chosen PGE Systemy to operate a 4.9G private wireless network on the 450MHz band for critical and operational communications in its power grid. Favoured by the energy sector across Europe, this band has good propagation properties and generous power levels, and there is strong availability of voice and data radios from various equipment suppliers.
“Poland has a strong concern to digitalise our energy grid because further integration of renewables with grid as well as conversion to distributed energy systems requires ubiquitous, reliable and safe communications,” said Andrzej Piotrowski, vice-president of PGE Systemy. “Private wireless operating in the 450MHz range is the communications technology of choice for the energy sector right across Europe, which ensures support from industry suppliers. The Nokia proof of concept has demonstrated that it will meet our needs in terms of coverage, service quality, resilience and long-term availability.”
The 450MHz band supports M2M communications in the energy sector, including smart meters and wireless scada connections required, for example, with wind turbines. Future applications of the network may include distributed energy resource management and other digital smart grid applications.
“Nokia has a big commitment to Poland’s communications infrastructure with over 6000 employees in the country working in our R&D centres, developing our newest technologies, including 4.9G and 5G,” said Chris Johnson, vice-president of Nokia’s enterprise business. “Thus, we are very pleased to be providing further support for the digitalisation of the Polish electrical grid by PGE Systemy. Nokia’s proof of concept, 5G-ready private network has ably demonstrated the superiority of cellular systems for mission-critical and machine-to-machine communications in these advanced applications.”