Sydney, Australia — (METERING.COM) — November 24, 2010 – EnergyAustralia is to use Long Term Evolution (LTE) for its 4G communications network, following the signing of an agreement with Ericsson as part of the energy company’s smart grid rollout.
Currently EnergyAustralia is rolling out a WiMAX network and will begin trials of an LTE platform at 15 sites next year, with the plan to move to a full LTE network.
“One of the major benefits for choosing this 4G/LTE platform is its approach to cyber security – a key consideration in selecting technology for the electricity industry,” explained EnergyAustralia managing director George Maltabarow, adding: “By using the same LTE technology as mobile carriers, we will benefit from economies of scale for chip, device and equipment pricing as 3G networks around the world migrate to LTE.”
Under the agreement, Ericsson as prime integrator will design and provide equipment, software and services to operate the network at 150 sites, including the WiMAX solution from Airspan Networks.
Earlier this year, EnergyAustralia signed an agreement with both Vivid Wireless and AUSTAR to acquire 7 MHz of 2.3 GHz spectrum for the utility’s 4G wireless communications network.
A 4G machine-to-machine communications network using WiMAX and LTE standards is currently being built across about 150 sites in Sydney, Central Coast and Hunter.
The 4G network will transmit data between 12,000 smart monitoring devices, up to 3,000 mobile field computers and 200 major zone substations.
EnergyAustralia is leading the Australian government’s Smart Grid, Smart City demonstration project to test the country’s first fully integrated, commercial scale smart grid. EnergyAustralia’s 4G network will cover the five locations that are part of the Smart Grid, Smart City project – Newcastle, Scone, Ku-ring-gai, Newington and Sydney CBD.