Nokia deploys private LTE to Western Power Distribution for smart grid trials

Press Release

12 August 2021

  • Western Power Distribution (WPD) is testing 4.9G/LTE and future 5G to support operation of its smart grid including SCADA, voice, video and data services
  • Nokia supplies Modular Private Wireless (MPW) solution and Nokia Industrial end devices for trial network at WPD’s test and development centre in Taunton, UK

Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced that it has provided a private 4.9G/LTE wireless network to Western Power Distribution in the UK. The private LTE network will be used for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA*) testing, as well as other mission-critical systems such as voice services.

WPD’s "LTE Connecting Futures" trial is testing a new LTE network to enable its smart grid. The 4.9G/LTE core, radio and user equipment were supplied by Nokia for WPD’s research at its Test and Development Centre in Taunton, UK.

WPD’s communications network provides secure, resilient and reliable services to support the daily operations of WPD, which distributes electricity to the Midlands, South West and Wales. These services include the use of licensed and unlicensed radio, microwave, and fibre networks.

Nokia worked with WPD to install and test Nokia 4.9G/LTE MPW private wireless, as well as the mission critical Nokia Group Communications Talk/Video solution, together with Nokia Industrial user equipment including workpads, supporting SCADA and other applications. Integrated and optimised to represent a ‘typical’ private LTE network in Band 87 (410-430Mhz), WPD tested operational characteristics, including assessment of throughput in interference and non-interference environments.

Phil Rigden, Telecoms Manager for WPD, said: "Through the challenges posed by the pandemic, we have worked closely with Nokia over the last two years to demonstrate the capability of its 4.9G/LTE private wireless solution to support the operation of our smartgrid including SCADA, voice, video and data services. We have been able to document key learnings to share with the utility industry that confirm the suitability of 4.9G/LTE and 5G to provide the connectivity platform for tomorrow’s grid."

Matthieu Bourguignon, Vice President Europe, Nokia Enterprise, said: "The industrial test environment we have established with WPD is providing a platform to trial various grid use cases on private wireless networks. These include Active Network Monitoring, power quality measurements, CCTV, distributed generation and automation of the smart grid. The range of applications and uses of private wireless will further support the industry to meet the regulatory challenges of providing clean, sustainable energy.”

Private wireless network slicing was also trialled for possible use of the same physical networks by tenant companies in the gas and electricity sectors.

With a strong marketplace appetite to capture the transformational benefits of Industry 4.0, energy companies turning to Nokia for private wireless networking include ElektroEquinorQTnet, and Siemens. With more than 340 large enterprise customers across industries worldwide, of which over 40 incorporate 5G, Nokia has been cited by numerous industry analysts as the leading provider of private wireless networking worldwide.

Nokia has deployed mission-critical networks to over 1,500 leading enterprise customers in the transport, energy, large enterprise, manufacturing, webscale, and public sector segments around the globe. Leading enterprises across industries are leveraging decades of Nokia experience building some of the biggest and most advanced IP, optical and wireless networks on the planet.


*SCADA is used by enterprises across numerous industries and applications to remotely monitor and automate the control of industrial processes and machines include LV monitoring, power quality, distributed generation and automation of the smart grid and other devices

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