Energy Australia will next year start a $12 million trial of long-term evolution wireless at 15 sites as it continues its broadband wireless rollout in support of the NSW smart grid.
If successful, the State Government power utility may replace its WiMax wireless network that connects customer premises with the rival broadband standard, a company spokesman said.
It will use the rival 4G network across its industrial sites in Sydney, the Hunter Valley and on the central coast to support its Smart Grid Smart City project. Long-term-evolution wireless will connect 12,000 monitoring devices, 3000 field computers, and 200 substations, the utility said.
"By using the same technology as mobile carriers, we will benefit from economies of scale for chip, device and equipment pricing as 3G networks around the world migrate to LTE," said Energy Australia managing director George Maltabarow.
"One of the major benefits for choosing this 4G/LTE platform is its approach to cyber-security - a key consideration in selecting technology for the electricity industry."
Ericsson will provide the new wireless equipment and software and integrate that WiMax infrastructure already in place at 150 sites.