Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
PGE Dystrybucja, a PGE Group company, has signed an implementation contract with Ericsson for the supply and deployment of RAN radio components as part of the construction of the LTE450 special communications network. The deployment of RAN and CORE core radio equipment will form the backbone of the launch of LTE450 services for the power industry.
The signing of the contract followed the conclusion of another procurement procedure in the LTE450 Program. The tender was conducted in the form of sectoral negotiations with publication, in accordance with the Public Procurement Law.
As part of the signed contract, Ericsson will be responsible for the supply and deployment of all RAN (Radio Access Network) radio components for the newly established LTE450 network. The main components are transceivers and antennas installed on telecommunications towers (LTE450 base stations), which are responsible for providing radio coverage and ensuring wireless communication in the 450 MHz band (3GPP Band 31) dedicated to the energy sector. The base stations supplied by Ericsson are proven and secure solutions that, in addition to standard broadband data transmission in LTE technology, will also enable – per the requirements defined by PGE – the provision of state-of-the-art IoT/M2M services (LTE-M, NB-IoT) for energy equipment. A dedicated supervision and management system (OSS System) is also envisaged as part of the implementation.
The deliveries and installation work provided in the contract cover the operating area of PGE Dystrybucja, which is the first stage of the construction of the LTE450 special communication network for the Polish power industry. The action plan for the LTE450 Program for the first stage provides for the implementation of and launch in 2024-2025 of basic connectivity services in the LTE450 network and further expansion of its coverage, as well as the development of new services dedicated to the power industry. Subsequent phases are also planned for work outside the PGE Group, in particular for other entities in the energy sector.
The 450 MHz frequency band dedicated to the power industry, in accordance with the provisions of the nationwide reservation granted to the company PGE Systemy, is intended for the implementation of tasks in the field of voice and data transmission for the management of networks for the transmission or distribution of gaseous, liquid or electric fuels on the territory of Poland. The main purpose is to ensure safety, continuity of operation of these networks, removal of failures or monitoring of events causing threats to the supply of energy or its carriers, or to ensure continuity of supply of energy or its carriers to customers. In PGE Dystrybucja, on the basis of the LTE450 network, services will be provided in particular within the scope of modern dispatcher communication, data transmission for the needs of energy infrastructure management, communication with smart meters, management of technical assets, or operation of terminals for managing the work of electricians in the field. Activities related to ensuring an adequate level of reliability and quality of energy supply are heading towards increasing digitisation and automation of processes. The multi-service LTE450 network under construction – by providing modern dedicated communication channels – will enable an increase in the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of power system operation in the area of PGE Dystrybucja’s operations.
The scope of work in accordance with the signed RAN agreement includes the implementation and maintenance phase of the radio infrastructure until 2033. The Contractor, having completed the implementation work, is also obliged to provide warranty and technical support services until August 2033, in accordance with the current term of the 450 MHz frequency reservation.
Simultaneously with the key tenders completed by PGE for the central CORE and RAN radio components, the LTE450 Program is undergoing advanced work aimed at awarding public procurement tenders and selecting contractors for the remaining components of the LTE450 network, including the purchase and implementation of dedicated power supply systems with emergency backup, the purchase and implementation of teletransmission equipment, or the lease of space on third-party antenna towers to supplement PGE’s own network of facilities. PGE’s own telecommunications towers are also being upgraded, as a further step after the comprehensive inventories and technical expertise of the facilities that have already been carried out.