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Anterix, Nokia Announce Agreement to Offer Private LTE Over Low-band, Dedicated Spectrum

Anterix and Nokia announced an agreement designed to accelerate the deployment of 900 MHz private LTE across the U.S. utility sector. The companies will work together to combine Anterix’s “beach-front” 900 MHz spectrum with Nokia’s industrial-grade private LTE/4.9G wireless infrastructure so that utility companies can more easily deploy private LTE solutions that support advanced communications for modernizing their grids. Nokia is also a charter member of the recently announced Anterix Active Ecosystem Program that brings together technology innovators to support Anterix customers deploying and operating private LTE on 900 MHz.

As utilities incorporate new distributed renewable energy resources and storage into their grid, they are expected to require an advanced communications infrastructure to support that evolution. To process the vast amounts of data that come from monitoring and managing the multi-directional and intermittent flow of electricity, utilities will require a robust and technologically powerful communications platform that is private, secure, resilient and designed to meet their needs. By working together, Anterix and Nokia can provide utilities with a platform they can adopt to fulfill their objectives.

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“Utilities who oversee critical infrastructure systems must insist on maintaining network control if they’re going to manage the delivery of services effectively and efficiently,” said Anterix Chief Operating Officer Ryan Gerbrandt. “Our low-band, licensed spectrum can provide utilities with the capabilities they need to build their own 900 MHz private LTE networks with Nokia’s state-of-the-art infrastructure.”

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The joint solution will include the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) platform and Nokia Modular Private Wireless (MPW) solution. The Nokia DAC is a compact application platform, comprising cellular network equipment and a cloud-based operation monitoring system offering reliable high-bandwidth, low-latency private wireless connectivity, local edge computing capabilities, and a catalog with applications such as voice and video services. Nokia MPW includes indoor and outdoor solutions that enable utilities to build private 4.9G/LTE networks for small to very large industrial sites and field area networks. Both DAC and MPW can easily be upgraded to 5G to offer even higher capacity and ultra-low latency.

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“Private LTE is the locomotive that’s going to help carry the electric utility industry into the 21st century,” said Matt Young, head of Nokia’s Enterprise business in North America. “This collaboration will allow Nokia and Anterix to further expand the benefits of purpose-built, private wireless networks to utilities nationwide. Together, we will help them obtain the high-performance, low-latency connectivity they need for digitalization and automation of their grid operations to improve efficiency and realize carbon emission goals, while transforming their business models.”

The push towards private LTE networks follows years of headlines regarding concerns about cyberattacks on the grid and system outages caused by weather and other natural disasters. The effort to leverage modern technology to enhance grid communications platforms has been accelerated since the Federal Communications Commission’s decision regarding 900 MHz last year and the grant of numerous experimental licenses. Nokia and Anterix already have worked together with utilities on a range of these pilot projects, including with the New York Power Authority as announced last Fall. This agreement expands the opportunity for the two companies to work together.

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