AT&T said Tuesday it is working with Nokia to provide a private LTE network for utilities.
According to the company, the new solution utilizes AT&T’s spectrum alongside Nokia’s LTE Technology to provide a secure, high-capacity network to utility customers.
Unlike other solutions that depend on unlicensed spectrum, AT&T said its new solution will function on the carrier’s licensed spectrum to allow utilities to establish their own Field Area Networks (FAN) in their active footprint. The use of standards-based LTE technology will keep the solution relevant even in the future, the carrier said.
AT&T said the solution will utilize Nokia’s LTE technology, including the LTE Radio Access Network (RAN), virtualized enhance packet core (EPC), IP/MPLS routing technology and end-to-end management. Nokia will also contribute dual radio modems that support the private LTE network and fall back to AT&T’s commercial LTE network when private network access is unavailable.
With a deep reach, AT&T said the new solution opens up automation options that were previously unavailable and supports micro grids, metering solutions and renewable energy sources, among other things.
“This joint solution offers utilities a new opportunity to modernize their field area network with a single, industry standards-based private broadband network,” Nokia’s vice president of Global Enterprise & Public Sector North America Kamal Ballout said. “Its end-to-end security approach, coupled with the ability to utilize 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 said it will help utility companies migrate their existing wireless devices and AMI collectors to the private solution.
The solution is expected to be made available in the second half of 2016, the companies said.