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LTE for Utilities: A Spectrum of Challenges & Opportunities

出版商 Heavy Reading 商品編碼 318973
出版日期 內容資訊 英文 12 Pages
商品交期: 最快1-2個工作天內
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公共事業LTE:課題與機會的頻譜 LTE for Utilities: A Spectrum of Challenges & Opportunities
出版日期: 2014年10月31日 內容資訊: 英文 12 Pages



第1章 簡介:指令、控制

第2章 擁有、技術的選項

  • 購買服務
  • 擁有網路
  • 頻譜的要素
  • LTE在未授權頻譜
  • 合資企業
  • 附加價值服務

第3章 結論

Product Code: Vol. 5, No. 5

Recent major outages highlight two of the major reasons why utility companies sometimes consider owning and operating a cellular network rather than the more common model of buying service from a mobile operator: availability and reliability. Utilities don't want to have to compete with a public network's other customers for bandwidth in the aftermath of a storm or other major event. And they don't want to find out that the public network is down when they need it most because the mobile operator wasn't diligent about maintenance, such as generator fuel levels.

A host of other factors influence utilities' decisions about network ownership and technology. One example is the communities they serve. Over the past decade, some small-town and rural utilities built WiMax and fiber networks not only for internal use, but also to provide broadband to their customers because incumbent Internet service providers (ISPs) were slow, expensive or non-existent. A few are now considering or deploying LTE for internal use, customer-facing services or both via relationships with mobile operators that own spectrum in those markets but don't want to build networks there because of the low population density.

Another factor is the regulatory environment, which often encourages utilities to make large capital investments because those can be used to help argue for rate increases. Buying service from a mobile operator is an operating expense (opex), which typically is subject to greater regulatory scrutiny and thus a potentially lower rate of return. Regulators also often limit utilities' ability to use ratepayer revenue to fund new business ventures in unregulated sectors.

Many utility companies prefer to own a wireless network in order to ensure availability and reliability. They don't want to have to compete with a public network's other customers for bandwidth, whether that's in the aftermath of a storm or other major event, or during normal conditions.

LTE is a viable option for utility applications. Key benefits include a global cost structure and its youth, which lines up with utilities' preference for technologies that can stay deployed for 15 years or longer. Vendors also are developing LTE modules and other products, such as CDMA and GPRS, that should significantly shrink the price premium over incumbents.

Many utilities have spent the past few years raising rates because consumer and business customers are using less electricity, which means less revenue both to maintain their infrastructure and to fund telecom projects. It's easy to blame lower energy usage on the recession, but U.S. Energy Information Administration research says increased use of energy-efficient products is among the reasons why the longstanding link between electricity sales and economic expansion/contraction is permanently broken. So to make sales, vendors need to convince utilities that spending money on LTE will enable savings through greater efficiency or enable new revenue streams or both.

‘LTE for Utilities: A Spectrum of Challenges & Opportunities’ identifies and analyzes key issues driving and inhibiting the utility market's adoption of LTE. It discusses how LTE compares to competitors such as broadband over powerline (BPL), CDMA, fiber and WiMax in terms of cost and capabilities. The report is based on interviews with a representative sample of companies in the ecosystem.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:

How Utilities Plan to Meet Their Operational Telecom Network Needs

                     Source: Black & Veatch

Each utility has unique factors that influence its decision whether to own and operate a cellular network or to buy service from a mobile operator. However, there are several other factors that apply to nearly all utilities. In fall 2013, Black & Veatch, an engineering company that serves both the energy and telecom sectors, surveyed 235 utility companies about their plans for smart grids and other communications projects. The following excerpt highlights how the type of utility affects interest in owning networks versus buying service.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction: Command & Control

II. Ownership & Technology Options

  • Buying Services
  • Owning a Network
  • The Spectrum Factor
  • LTE in Unlicensed Spectrum
  • Joint Ventures
  • Value-Added Services

III. Conclusions

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