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Polish Energy Company to Deploy 5G-Ready Network to Support Distribution Operations

April 8, 2020
Final private wireless network to potentially support wireless connectivity for up to 14 million smart meters.

Nokia recently announced a major Polish energy sector company, PGE Systemy, has chosen its 5G-ready, industrial-grade private wireless solution, following the successful trial of a 450-MHz proof of concept (PoC) network in operation since April 2019.

This marks a critical first step in evaluating the use of the 450-MHz band to support the wide-area operations of energy distribution system operators (DSOs) across Poland. PGE Systemy will use the PoC infrastructure to further develop its concept of a country-wide critical communications network. The final private wireless network will potentially support 15,000 to 20,000 private radio users over LTE/4.9G, as well as wireless connectivity for up to 14 million smart meters and 35,000 existing and future supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) connections.

The Polish Energy Ministry has chosen PGE Systemy to operate a 4.9G private wireless network on the 450-MHz band for critical and operational communications in its next-generation power grid. Favored by the energy sector across Europe, this band has excellent propagation properties, generous power levels, and there is strong availability of voice and data radios from a variety of equipment suppliers to support numerous applications. It is the band of choice for the support of machine-to-machine communications in the energy sector, including smart meters and wireless SCADA connections required, for example, with wind turbines. Future applications of the network may include distributed energy resource (DER) management and other digital smart grid applications.

"Poland has a strong concern to digitalize our energy grid because further integration of renewables with the grid as well as conversion to distributed energy systems requires ubiquitous, reliable, and safe communications," said Andrzej Piotrowski, vice president of PGE Systemy. "Private wireless operating in the 450-MHz range is the communications technology of choice for the energy sector right across Europe, which ensures support from industry suppliers. The Nokia PoC has demonstrated it will meet our needs in terms of coverage, service quality, resilience, and long-term availability."

"Nokia has a big commitment to Poland's communications infrastructure with over 6000 employees in country working in our research and development (R&D) centers, developing our newest technologies, including 4.9G and 5G. Thus, we are very pleased to be providing further support for the digitalization of the Polish electrical grid by PGE Systemy," said Chris Johnson, vice president of Nokia's enterprise business. "Nokia's PoC, 5G-ready private network has ably demonstrated the superiority of cellular systems for mission-critical and machine-to-machine communications in these advanced applications."

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