Private LTE core and RAN to modernise the US grid

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Ericsson has launched a new private LTE (PLTE) core and radio access network (RAN) to help enable grid modernization efforts at Evergy, a US utility in the mid-West.

The project with consultants Burns & McDonnell created a unified network capable of supporting an array of both known and future-focused use cases to modernize the grid, increasing reliability and safety while decreasing latency for mission-critical applications.

20 PLTE sites were planned in the initial deployment for 2022 to support a smart grid. With the first of these originally set to be completed by October 2022, Evergy accelerated the cell site build plan and launched the first site in May 2022, in less than two months from the project award. 

The sites use Ericsson’s cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core and private RAN network, which supports both LTE and 5G, allowing for a smooth transition to future 5G services. The PLTE network will support a variety of applications, from engineering access and fault circuit indicators to line regulators and advanced metering infrastructure solutions. It will also be used for smart grid applications.

“Early in 2021, we identified several use cases that would result in better resiliency and efficiency for Evergy customers. By building a private LTE network we have a more secure and reliable means of transmitting grid data into our back-office systems for processing.  Burns & McDonald has been heavily involved from the initial design work and Ericsson has been a critical partner in the deployment of their RAN technology,” said Gary Johnson. Sr. Director of IT infrastructure and Security for Evergy.

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