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Nokia, Speedcast deploy private wireless connectivity for Origem Energia in Brazil

Private wireless solution will deliver critical network operations to 600 gas production wells at Brazilian sustainable energy firm

Communications and IT services provider Speedcast’s Brazilian entity, SC Caprock, has completed the deployment of a mission-critical private LTE network based on Nokia technology at four natural gas plants and associated wells for energy integrator Origem Energia in Brazil.

The energy’s firm’s stated mission is to provide integrated energy in a reliable manner at competitive costs with a view to drive the Brazilian economy. The company was born out of founder engineer Luna Viana’s entrepreneurial mindset, associated with business administrator Luiz Felipe Coutinho and engineer Nathan Biddle. They teamed up to establish a company with a mission to play a role in both the expansion and transformation of the Brazilian energy generation grid towards a low-carbon economy.

Back in 2016, using her own financial capital, Viana acquired the onshore field of Garça Branca, in the Espírito Santo Basin. Coutinho then joined the partnership, and provided additional funds to develop the project. In 2020, Biddle also came on board as partner and, in the same year, Prisma Capital Funds Management became Origem’s controller shareholder.

In 2020, Speedcast announced a long-term agreement with Nokia to deploy its private wireless network technology for mining and energy enterprise customers. The new project will see the deployment of Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) to provide high-quality, critical voice and video connectivity for workers on site.

SC Caprock has deployed LTE access points covering the facilities using Band 28 at 700MHz. Smartphones offer push-to-talk and push-to-video communications that enable instant connectivity and the ability to share video streams with colleagues to enhance collaboration and facilitate rapid problem-solving.

The integration includes the installation of private LTE base stations, and the Nokia MX Industrial Edge (MXIE), an edge computing-based platform that runs the private wireless core functions and application processing, including the Push-to-X communications applications. In addition to systems integration, SC Caprock will manage regulatory approval and provide 24×7 customer support.

The deployment covers 13 municipalities in the state of Alagoas, delivering critical network operations to 600 gas production wells, connecting about 800 employees and service providers. Ultimately, the partners’ goal is to extend connectivity to the local community, connecting about 400,000 people, by the end of 2022.

“The unique value of the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud is the combination of industrial-grade private wireless connectivity, running an on-premise edge that brings the ability to add high-value applications to the network with only minor hardware changes,” said André Gustavo Sant’Anna, Brazil country manager at Speedcast.

“In addition to voice and video, we are looking at carrying telemetry data from wells, providing a video-based AI application to detect unauthorised access to wells in remote locations, worker tracking and health and safety wearables. Wherever technology can add value to operations, integrating it is straightforward and cost-effective.”

Marcelo Entreconti, head of enterprise for Nokia Latin America, added: “Nokia industrial-grade private wireless networks are the backbone and best starting point for the energy sector’s digital transformation journey. We thank SC Caprock and its customer for their confidence in our company and technology, and we are looking forward to new projects with both companies in the years to come.”

This latest win for Nokia DAC in Brazil comes just days after multinational electronics company Flex Brazil announced that it would deploy Nokia 5G standalone private wireless networks, based on DAC,  in its manufacturing facilities in Brazil, with the primary role of improving critical communications for its manufacturing operations.

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