Airspan Networks for Utility Communications and Smart Grid. Dressing their power grids with next-generation, 4G technologies, Utilities are re-defining communications networks in their industry. These IP-based networks increase automation, management and control while improving operational efficiency and reliability.
Airspan meets the requirements of Smart Utilities worldwide. However, in the United States, Airspan combines dedicated, licensed, 1.4 GHz spectrum with advanced technology infrastructure to create an especially compelling smart grid solution. The 1.4 GHz smart grid solution (more info) enables utilities to operate private, secure networks for applications such as AMI backhaul, SCADA and Distribution Automation.
About Smart Grids
Utilities must maintain grid reliability while also vastly increasing the communications complexity by upgrading the grid to support real-time two-way broadband communications from the Utility Operations Center all the way to the consumer’s meter. Utility grid communications are being designed to support machine-to-machine and low latency connectivity, while retaining the zero fault-tolerance of grid operators and public utility commissions.
The overall goals of a smart grid are to bring the utility into the next generation of technology, run a more efficient business, save on operational costs – which later translate into consumer savings – and to become more environmentally friendly (green).
In order to accomplish this, the power and energy sector must incorporate several pieces that allow real-time, two-way broadband communication across the grid. Each consumer location (such as a home or business) must have a piece of equipment, collocated with the meter, that communicates information such as usage, failures, and demand-response triggers to another unit, which aggregates the information of multiple meters and ultimately communicates the aggregated data to the main grid operations center.
4G technology is ideal for smart grids, as it allows for the two-way communication, remote monitoring and control of the grid, quick and easy installation as well as broadband speeds. Furthermore, with 4G, utilities can remotely locate, isolate, and restore power outages, thereby increasing the stability of the grids. The multiple megabits supported by 4G significantly outpace the bandwidth supported by outdoor Wi-Fi, Digital Cellular or proprietary solutions – that gives grid operators an ability to not only address the primary meter communications requirements of the network, but also the ability to leverage a common platform for real property management, mobile workforce connectivity (including VoIP support) and CCTV camera security backhaul.
Addressing Smart Grid Communications Needs
Most importantly, Airspan offers truly broadband speeds with very low latency, an essential part of a smart grid network. In addition to simple usage and meter reading, the network must be able to run bandwidth-demanding applications such as mapping, video tools for mobile workers, or video services for facility monitoring. Additionally, Airspan equipment is suitable for a variety of deployment scenarios whether in rural or urban regions, extreme weather conditions, challenging terrain or low population density.
The Airspan Solution