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Ericsson builds private 900MHz network for Ameren energy company

Ericsson building sign

Ericsson has built a private wireless network for US energy company Ameren, using the 900MHz spectrum.

The equipment vendor says that the 10-year infrastructure and service partnership agreement will help St Louis-based Ameren decarbonise its grid and improve connectivity for both the grid assets and workforce.

Ericsson’s Koustuv Ghoshal, head of utilities, energy and industrials, said that private communications networks will help in digital transformation goals and reduction of operational costs. “Ericsson has a proven track record of delivering commercial communications infrastructure at both large and small utilities in North America.”

Chris Vana, Ameren’s senior director of engineering and architecture, said: “Ameren is modernising our grid, including deployment of a private network structure that will allow us to better serve customers. This technology will mean improved reliability, faster response time, grid security and lower costs for customers as we combine to a single standard solution.”

Ameren said it will consolidate disparate network solutions into one network using the 900MHz spectrum band. “This is an affordable, well-propagating frequency that will not only improve operational and financial efficiencies, but enable Ameren to provide enhanced device management, monitoring and predictive analytics of assets, as well as deploy its own people to troubleshoot its telecommunication challenges,” said Ameren, the largest electric utility in Missouri and the second largest in Illinois.

Ameren said it “will also have a heightened level of cybersecurity as there will no longer be third-party vendors maintaining the data and information on the network”.

“In this fast-changing environment, utilities are looking to privatize their communications networks to improve how they monitor, control, optimize and decarbonize every aspect of their smart grid ecosystem,” said Ghoshal.