Why Utilities Should Utilize the Power of Private LTE Networks

Telecom Tech Outlook | Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Utilities can improve grid reliability by harnessing IoT data for remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance of assets in the field, thereby minimizing possible downtime and operating costs.

Fremont, CA: Dependable and safe wireless networking is important to utilities for a number of reasons. For instance, connectivity is vital to the creation of creative Internet of Things (IoT) applications that can help utilities increase operational efficiency, enhance customer interaction, incorporate renewable energy resources, and also provide efficient and sustainable energy services to their customers.

Dream of smart meters and smart grids. These infrastructure developments – which enable utilities to deliver energy to consumers more efficiently, boost customer engagement, and increase grid resilience – are simply not possible without reliable connectivity. For example, IoT data can be used to build a self-healing grid that auto-identifies outages and changes the distribution of energy accordingly. In the same way, utilities can improve grid reliability by harnessing IoT data for remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance of assets in the field, thereby minimizing possible downtime and operating costs.

Moreover, stable connectivity will only become more essential as power generation continues to diversify into areas such as wind and solar. Without access, utilities cannot obtain real-time data on these energy sources required to keep energy supply and demand balanced on their grids. Utilities will need connectivity to handle customer-based energy storage systems, generators and other distributed energy infrastructure (DERs).

Why Utilities Look at Private LTE for Connectivity

When we talk about "private LTE," what exactly are we talking about? Private LTE networks are using the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology. The technology has long been introduced by mobile network operators (MNOs) to provide customers with reliable, high bandwidth and wide coverage. It's not only for MNOs, though: now it's also open to utilities in private form. Today, utilities can create their own private LTE networks, independent of MNOs, with cell sites and core network infrastructure dedicated to their usage and unique needs.

Having a private LTE network provides utilities a range of important advantages – compliance with global standards, reliability, control and expense.