More U.S. utilities signal interest in private wireless networks
EA, NRTC and Southern California Edison are among the newest members of the Utility Broadband Alliance (UBBA), which this week announced it’s now officially a not-for-profit association “dedicated to advancing and developing private LTE broadband.”
The development is the latest in a series of movements within the US utility industry toward private wireless networking.
However, it’s still unclear exactly how the space will develop considering utilities have a growing range of options to choose from for their private networks. A number have already signaled their intention to build their own networks with their own spectrum, while others may consider leasing spectrum, while still others may opt to simply purchase a private slice of a public network.
Nonetheless, it’s clear that utilities are engaged in the issue. “As the first chairman of the Utility Broadband Alliance, I am honored that this team appointed me to lead the Alliance through incorporation and launch. The utility-led committees and the great technology vendor-members have done outstanding work building participation and providing new learning experiences for UBBA members,” said Ali Mohammed of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) in an UBBA release.
Mohammed’s appearance on UBBA’s board is no surprise. The utility announced late last year it would test private wireless networking options with equipment from Nokia and spectrum from Anterix, Omega Wireless, Globalstar and AT&T, as well as CBRS spectrum.
Anterix, for its part, was instrumental in forming the UBBA, in part to groom potential utility customers for its 900MHz spectrum holdings. Anterix has already inked deals with Ameren and Xcel, two other UBBA members.
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