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Hybrid 4G/5G FAN Solutions: Empowering Utility Decarbonization and Grid Resilience

A T&D World-hosted webinar sponsored by Dell Technologies and NVIDIA

This webinar was originally held on October 26th, 2023, and is now available for on demand viewing. 
Sponsor:  Dell Technologies and NVIDIA
Duration: 1 Hour

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Leveraging Hybrid 5G Field Area Networking and Edge Computing to Accelerate Grid Decarbonization, Balancing and FLISR goals 

To achieve the ambitious objectives of grid decarbonization, balance, and resilience, 4G/5G Field Area Networks (FANs) have emerged as pivotal solutions. These networks play a critical role in securely connecting various components of the smart grid, including Distribution Automation (DA), Distributed Energy Resources (DER), Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Additionally, it facilitates the integration of video monitoring cameras and remote staff spread across expansive service regions, ensuring the provision of adequate bandwidth and Quality of Service (QoS).

However, the challenge lies in covering extensive service areas that span thousands of square miles. A conventional approach would necessitate a prohibitively expensive, multi-year deployment of private 4G/5G radios. Additionally, public mobile network solutions lack the self-service control and visibility demanded by Utility Information Technology (IT) and cybersecurity stakeholders, posing a significant obstacle to achieving the desired grid resilience and decarbonization targets.

In this webinar, distinguished experts from leading organizations such as PGE, Expeto, and Dell will delve into an innovative hybrid approach to implementing 4G/5G FANs. Participants will gain valuable insights into how this hybrid approach can revolutionize the energy landscape. Not only does it provide a more cost-effective and scalable solution for grid decarbonization and resilience, but it also ensures the necessary private cloud infrastructure to support such a FAN. Join us to explore this transformative approach and its potential to propel utilities towards their decarbonization and grid resilience goals.

Attendees will learn the following:

  • The benefits of 4G/5G over TDMA and Mesh based FANs in connecting smart grid components
  • The advantages of a hybrid approach deploying public and private cellular radios in a 4G/5G FAN
  • How the hybrid approach not only supports decarbonization, but also provides the essential private cloud infrastructure for a resilient grid system
  • The optimal cloud architecture for serving 4G/5G networking workloads
  • PGE KPIs driving network and cloud requirements


Larry Bekkedahl
Senior Vice President, Advanced Energy Delivery

Larry Bekkedahl is responsible for advancing PGE’s strategy to build the grid of the future — one that is resilient, smart, and delivers a clean energy future. He oversees PGE’s strategic system architecture and system upgrades, which will serve as the foundation for the smart grid of the future. This includes initiatives related to system integration and operations, smart cities, enabling distributed energy resources, energy storage, dispatchable standby generation, transmission system performance and market interfaces, as well as innovation, research, and development.

Bekkedahl joined PGE in 2014 as vice president of Transmission & Distribution. He has more than three decades of leadership experience in the energy industry. Before joining PGE, he was senior vice president for transmission services at the Bonneville Power Administration and held leadership positions at Clark Public Utilities, PacifiCorp and Montana Power Company.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Montana State University and serves on the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Research Advisory Committee, the Stanford University Bits and Watts Advisory Council, GridWise Board, and CGA Board (811 call before you dig), Pacific Northwest National Labs Advisory Board, and the All Hands Raised Educational Council.

Ryley MacKenzie
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Ryley MacKenzie is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Canada-based Expeto. In this role, he works closely with operators, service providers and enterprises to promote adoption and scale deployment of mission critical mobile networking solutions across public and private cellular for high-value industries including mining, utilities, retail and automotive.

Prior to founding Expeto, MacKenzie was Director, Channel Management at Seccuris Inc. and Director of Business Operations at Australian-based Decipher Works. He was also the founder and CEO of Evoshift Communications Inc., and held leadership roles at Net4Call and then Oracle, after it acquired the former in 2009.

With over twenty years of global experience in the communications, technology and security markets, MacKenzie has proven himself as a disruptor working at the cutting edge of the industry to make connectivity more powerful for those who use it and making it simpler for those who manage it. He has significant experience in creating tremendous value from limited resources, building brand recognition among industry leaders, and architecting strategic direction to foster the quickest path to value. 

MacKenzie holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Manitoba, an MBA from the University of Adelaide and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Liverpool.

John Rampart
Technical Staff, Systems Development Engineering
Dell Technologies

John is an experienced technical sales professional with a proven track record in Business Development across next-generation IT Networking Technologies, Virtualization, SaaS UC platforms, and Network Monitoring solutions. He has a strong telecom and communications background spanning networking (routing & switching), and network architecture.

His technical proficiency extends to Broadband Access systems, including LAN, WAN, xPON, xDSL, Wireless, Ethernet, and IP system level design and configuration. He thrives in navigating complex networking landscapes and crafting tailored solutions to meet clients' evolving needs.

He has over 20 years of experience in a range of sales engineering and solution architecting roles and is currently a member of the Dell Solutions Co-Creation team within the Telecom System Business (TSB) unit.

Rajesh Gadiyar
Vice President, Telecom and Edge Architecture,

Rajesh Gadiyar leads telco and edge architecture at NVIDIA. He is building technologies for virtualized 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) in the cloud. A key focus for him is the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Technologies and 5G/6G Networks. He works with communications service providers (CoSPs) to modernize their networks using cloud native technologies.

Before joining NVIDIA in 2022, Rajesh was the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the Network Platforms Group at Intel. He led the architecture and product development efforts to accelerate cloud native network applications in 5G infrastructure, edge clouds, video processing and AI in Networking and delivered many generations of network server platforms. Prior to joining Intel, he led various engineering teams at Trillium Digital Systems and Wipro Ltd.

Rajesh brings several years of experience in networking products, architecture, standards, and software development for Voice over IP, cellular, broadband, mobile telephony, and data networks. Rajesh has a B.S. in Electronics and Telecommunications engineering from National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India, and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. He is a regular speaker at industry events and conferences.

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