Utilities across the country are in the early stages of planning and deploying their own utility grade private LTE networks to enable modern data-dependent applications for managing the electric grid. The driving, over-arching value of these networks is utility control: control over system resiliency and restoration, the network security features implemented, the bandwidth allocated to specific applications, and the type and capabilities of devices, among other important aspects of network management.
This position paper is a product of the UBBA Business Working Group. It serves to highlight the business challenges of the topic and offer possible solutions. The goal of the paper is for utilities to come together as a unified industry to work with commercial carriers, either directly and/or through roaming service aggregators, to identify and implement business and technology solutions, which allow utilities that build private LTE networks to control the devices that connect to those networks even as those devices benefit from commercial carrier coverage.