Nokia’s private LTE chosen by Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority

Nokia strikes further deal for private network infrastructure, helping leading MENA utilities company modernise its grids

Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) is to modernise its distribution network with a private LTE network (pLTE) for improved efficiency and performance.

Created in 1956, the Manama-based utility firm has a simple but clear mission: provide a reliable and quality supply of electricity and water for the sustainable development of Bahrain. In meeting this mission, the company has four consistent strategic themes: responsive and consistent service; sufficient and sustainable capacity; effective financial management; and a talented, high-performing workforce​.

As part of its responsibility to keep pace with meeting prerequisite electricity and water requirements, EWA has outsourced a number of key roles and operations to the private sector, availing managerial resources to focus on its core mission of excellence in customer service.

​The pLTE technology is to be supplied by Nokia with the aim of helping EWA automate and enhance the security and efficiency of the utility company’s smart grid in the city, paving the way for easier adoption of internet of things (IoT) use cases in the future, as well as the ability to deliver superior experiences and reliable services to customers.

The deployment will be completed in two phases. In the first phase, Nokia’s service will cover the Al Muharraq area of Bahrain, connecting 500 secondary substations and six primary substations to the central location. The service includes the IP/MPLS wireless router 7705 SAR-Hmc to enable application-centric, reliable and efficient smart grid communications; a compact mobility unit (CMU) to perform the mobile packet core functions required for mobile broadband, IoT and machine-type communication (MTC); and the Nokia Network Services Platform (NSP) to enable automation of IP and optical networks to simplify network operations. These complement LTE radio equipment to build private LTE networks for industrial connectivity.

After the successful completion of the first phase, the network will connect thousands of secondary substations and hundreds of primary substations across the entire country. Nokia’s private LTE network will help EWA automate their smart grid in the city and pave the way for easier adoption of IoT use cases in the future. EWA customers will experience superior and more reliable services.

In the first phase, Nokia’s offering will connect 500 secondary substations and six primary substations to the central location. The service will be based on 3GPP standardisation on 410 MHz Band B87, which is specifically for industrial use for private LTE connectivity.

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Explaining the reach and ambition of the project, Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority said: “We are committed to using the latest, secure technologies to ensure greater operational efficiency, which translates to improved customer service. Nokia is a global technology leader, and we are delighted to partner with them on this crucial project to modernise and digitise our distribution network. It also paves the way for smoother adoption of IoT products to provide smart services in the future.”

“Private LTE is enabling utility organisations around the world to simplify network management and use automation to bring down costs,” added Kamal Ballout, head of Nokia Enterprise for the Middle East, Africa, China and India. “We are committed to modernising and upgrading EWA’s distribution systems for better performance and reliability.”

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