Bahrain utility selects Nokia for connectivity in grid modernisation project

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In Bahrain, the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) has partnered with Nokia to build a private LTE network that will provide connectivity to distributed devices as part of the energy firm’s grid modernisation project.

The LTE network will be deployed in stages with the first phase covering Al Muharraq and connecting 500 secondary substations and six primary substations.

The solution will be based on 3GPP standardisation on 410 MHz Band B87 which is specifically for industrial use for private LTE connectivity.

The results of phase 1 will determine the deployment of the solution to cover a larger area of the utility’s service territory and grid assets.

The IoT network is expected to provide EWA with grid automation capabilities that can be used to improve the performance and efficiency of the energy system.

The network will enable the Electricity and Water Authority to modernise its services in line with changing business models and customer expectations as well as accelerate its rollout of IoT and related services.

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Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority said: “We are committed to using the latest, secure technologies to ensure greater operational efficiency, which translates to improved customer service.”

Kamal Ballout, Head of Nokia Enterprise, Middle East, Africa, China and India at Nokia, added: “Private LTE is enabling utility organisations around the world to simplify networks management and use automation to bring down costs.”

EWA and grid modernisation

Other ways in which the utility is modernising its services through digital tools include the launch of the net metering platform on which consumers can submit their requests to install solar energy systems on their homes and facilities.

The platform was launched in partnership with the Information and E-Governments Authority under efforts to accelerate the utility’s digital and energy transformation.

Commenting on the launch of the net metering service, HE Mr Wael bin Nasser Al Mubarak, Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, said digitalisation will help in achieving ‘the national goal to increase the proportion of renewable energy from the total energy mix. 5% by 2025 and 10% by 2035.”