Energy Australia buzzed about 4G network

 

Smart grid project hits another milestone.

Energy Australia will roll out a 4G WiMAX network covering 140 sites over the next 18 months as it completes technology trials started last year.

The network rollout is part of the utility's electricity smart grid project, which started in 2006.

The 4G network will enable two-way communication between mobile field computers, back-end systems and households, the utility said.

Energy Australia's intelligent networks manager Adrian Clark told iTnews the company expects to select a networking kit vendor to underpin the rollout by the end of July.

"We're going through the tender process to select the equipment vendor now," Clark said.

"The most important decision we have to make is the equipment we use. There's quite a bit of testing and evaluation still to go before we make that decision."

The utility has eight 4G network sites live so far, including five in Newcastle suburbs, one at Nelson Bay, north of Newcastle, and two in Sydney.

"The network will be progressively rolled out once suitable sites have been surveyed and identified," Energy Australia said in a statement.

Substations in the Sydney suburbs of Lane Cove, Leightonfield, Bass Hill and Meadowbank are earmarked for network installation shortly.

The network will run on 2.3 GHz spectrum it acquired from Unwired's parent Wireless Broadband Australia in March for $10 million.

Clark said there may be "opportunities" to use the 4G data network for other purposes, albeit it wasn't "the primary reason" Energy Australia was investing in the asset.

The utility already re-used its fibre IP MPLS backbone for "internal telecommunications requirements between major sites".

However, it did not appear the 4G asset would be leveraged in the same manner, potentially allowing services run on third-party carrier networks to be brought in-house.

"We're designing it for machine-to-machine data, not for high-bandwidth data carriage," Clark said.


Energy Australia buzzed about 4G network
 
 
 
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