Utility E.ON is set to upgrade the communications network of its energy system using 4G and 5G protocols and technologies in Germany.
The utility’s new arm E.ON TowerCO Gmbh will be responsible for the construction and operation of the new networks and infrastructure as part of the energy provider’s digital transformation.
E.ON TowerCo Gmbh will install 4G and 5G radios on existing electricity pylons, a development that will help the energy retailer to reduce the costs associated with the upgrades as well as the time needed to secure regulatory approval to build new pylons.
Bernd Böddeling, Senior Vice President at E.ON SE, said: “We are using our existing infrastructure to improve mobile communications in Germany in order to eliminate ‘white spots’ in network coverage quickly and cost-effectively. Combining existing power poles with mobile communications facilities is also more sustainable than building new ones. Stable mobile coverage is also an important factor in value creation, especially in rural regions.”
The radios will also be installed on the roofs of E.ON’s facilities.
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By taking advantage of existing infrastructure to upgrade grid communications, EON states that it will be able to provide modern services to consumers in remote areas. The utility is also planning to leverage existing poles of other telcos that are along highways and railroad lines.
E.ON TowerCo Gmbh is developing pilots and is set to launch the first projects in 2022.
E.ON is one of the European utilities that are at the forefront of the energy transition through the use of digital and smart grid technologies. In early September, E.ON became the first utility company to leverage quantum computing to optimise the management of an ever-increasing decentralisation of the grid network. The projects will be done in partnership with IBM Quantum and will include the use of IBM’s quantum computing systems, via the IBM Cloud, and Qiskit quantum software developer tools to manage the bidirectional flow of energy.
With Wipro and Microsoft Azure, E.ON will operate and manage its IT from the cloud. Commenting on the development, Michael Seiger, Country Head – Germany, Wipro Limited, added: “Technology convergence and operational agility have become strategic needs for organisations in the energy industry to improve efficiency and effectiveness. E.ON is driving the green energy transition in Europe and we look forward to supporting them with innovative technologies to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing prosumer world.”