ESB Networks drafts in Nokia and Sigma for new 4G private network

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Nokia and Sigma Wireless Communications will install a private 4G/LTE mobile network for Irish energy company ESB Networks.

The new LTE-based private wireless system will be installed over a three-year period, and the firm says the connectivity goodness will enable the integration of renewable energy to the grid, decarbonization of the electrical network and electrification of heat and transport.

A ‘dedicated Smart Grid telecoms network’, as the release puts it, is part of ESB Networks’ Innovation Strategy that purports to bestow environmental, economic and customer benefits to Ireland, which is nice of it. The deployment is also touted as part of ESB’s ‘Networks for Net Zero’ Strategy and the Irish Government’s ‘Climate Action Plan’ – in case you were wondering if there were any more schemes involved.

“An ever smarter and agile electricity network is key to the delivery of a more sustainable future, with the customer at its core,” said Nicholas Tarrant, ESB Networks Managing Director. “The purpose-built private telecommunications network now being developed will be a key enabler in delivering integration of renewable energy to the grid, decarbonization of the electricity network and the electrification of heat and transport amongst other benefits. As such, this private, reliable, and secure mobile network will be an indispensable precursor to delivering a Net Zero-ready electricity network.”

Phil Siveter, UK and Ireland CEO at Nokia added: “Enabling the decarbonizing of energy grids while ensuring resilient critical infrastructure is an opportunity that we are helping customers address across the world.  We are delighted that ESB Networks and Sigma Wireless entrust Nokia to deploy private LTE infrastructure running over their converged IP/MPLS backhaul network for critical grid communications to support the modernization and digitization of the energy grid throughout the Republic of Ireland.”

ESB boasts that it has been Ireland’s foremost energy company since it was established in 1927, so this seems like a decent win for Nokia who is making strides in selling connectivity solutions into businesses. In its Q1 2023 financials, the company flagged up a 62% growth from enterprise sales. Though this segment accounts for less than 10% of Nokia’s total sales, deals like this will no doubt bump that up.


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