Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) announced delivery of its industry-leading Radio Access Network (RAN) and its role to help power up Ameren’s private communications network. This milestone is the result of a recently signed 10-year infrastructure and service partnership agreement between Ericsson and Ameren, an Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri to deploy the private communications infrastructure.
“Ameren is modernizing our grid, including deployment of a private network structure that will allow us to better serve customers. This technology will mean improved reliability, faster response time, grid security and lower costs for customers as we combine to a single standard solution,” said Chris Vana, senior director of engineering and architecture at Ameren. “Ericsson has been a market leader in mission-critical private networks, and they are a trusted partner on our communications grid modernization journey. We are excited by our current and future opportunities with this partnership.”
Ameren’s approach to its communications grid modernization consolidates disparate network solutions into one highly-efficient communications network using the 900 MHz spectrum band. This is an affordable, well-propagating frequency that will not only improve operational and financial efficiencies, but enable Ameren to provide enhanced device management, monitoring and predictive analytics of assets, as well as deploy its own people to troubleshoot its telecommunication challenges. Ameren will also have a heightened level of cybersecurity as there will no longer be third-party vendors maintaining the data and information on the network. Ameren will be well-positioned and have capacity for forecasted growth, expansion of clean energy resources as well as better management, accountability and standards-based implementations in its service territory.
“In this fast-changing environment, utilities are looking to privatize their communications networks to improve how they monitor, control, optimize, and decarbonize every aspect of their smart grid ecosystem,” said Koustuv Ghoshal, Vice President and Head of Utilities, Energy & Industrials at Ericsson North America. “Private communications networks enable leading IOUs such as Ameren in their digital transformation goals and reduction of operational costs, while accelerating decarbonization of the grid and improving connectivity for both the grid assets and workforce. Ericsson has a proven track record of delivering commercial communications infrastructure at both large and small utilities in North America. By leveraging our industry expertise and assets such as our Utilities Innovation Center and the Device Testing and Verification lab, we look forward to partnering with Ameren on their grid modernization journey.”
Under the agreement to create the private network, Ericsson will supply Ameren with its carrier-grade cloud-native dual-mode core solution to support the network with geo-redundancy and RAN solutions, capable of supporting future upgrades.
Ericsson has a long track record delivering mission critical network solutions to industries globally, including some of the largest U.S. IOUs and rural municipal utilities, helping to support critical infrastructure for people and enterprises in rural and urban areas throughout the country. The partnership with Ameren is another of the large private network infrastructure and services agreements by a U.S. utility in Ericsson’s expanding portfolio of large-scale private network agreements with IOUs.