Anterix与圣迭戈燃气和电力公司达成5000万美元的交易,以支持900兆赫私人LTE系统

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Anterix本周宣布与圣迭戈天然气和电力公司达成5000万美元的交易,这将使该公司成为900兆赫宽带频谱的许可证持有人,该频谱将用于支持私人LTE网络,该网络将支持智能电网和野火缓解计划

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施瓦茨接受IWCE《紧急通讯》采访时说:“对我来说,让这两个重要的公用事业公司公开表明,900兆赫私人LTE是他们组织中一个关键的组成部分,对于常见的用例和独特的用例来说,这是以前势头的开始,现我们将其视为一场运动。”。

Anterix本周宣布与圣迭戈天然气和电力公司(SDG&E)达成5000万美元的交易,这将使该公司成为900兆赫宽带频谱的许可证持有人,该频谱将用于支持私人LTE网络,该网络将支持智能电网和野火缓解计划

对Anterix来说,SDG&E合同是该公司继与Ameren达成价值4800万美元的协议之后的第二份重要的商业宽带协议,该协议的内容是>

施瓦茨接受IWCE《紧急通讯》(Urgent Communications)采访时说:“对我来说,让这两个重要的公用事业公司公开表明,900兆赫私人LTE是他们组织中一个关键的组成部分,对于常见的用例和独特的用例来说,这是以前势头的开始,现我们将其视为一场运动。”。“这是一个全国性的运动的开始,将900兆赫的私人宽带带到全国各地的公用事业。”

根据施瓦兹的说法,SDG公司承诺采用900兆赫的无线电波作为其宽带频谱基础的一部分,该公司也最近的FCC拍卖中赢得了3.5 GHz的CBR频谱许可,因为SDG和E被公认为公用事业领域的技术领先者。

他说:“我确实认为,作为一个技术领先者,当他们开始部署时,这将对州政府和州内其他公用事业单位产生非常大的影响,希望很快能够实现,因此(公用事业网络)之间可以有一个无处不的通信系统。”

“他们将帮助我们推动整个行业,不仅仅是他们的重要领域,而是整个加利福尼亚州和全国。它是我们联盟中的另一个合作伙伴,推动该行业进入这个全国性的网络。”

施瓦茨说,他对900兆赫的专用LTE网络能够为SDG&E带来的潜好处感到特别兴奋,因为它可以帮助SDG&E减轻因电线倒塌引发的火灾风险。有了专用的LTE系统,人们期望低延迟通信可以用来坠落的电力线触地起火之前自动断电

施瓦茨说,这是SDG&E多年来一直解决的一个问题,导致公用事业公司这一领域发挥领导作用

“有了这样的领导,作为协议合作部分的一部分,我们真的看到了一个机会,不仅可以推动私人LTE,还可以推动整个州的[野火缓解]用例,进入华盛顿、俄勒冈州和最近不幸遭受野火困扰的西部地区的其他地方,施瓦茨说

事实上,SDG&E首席执行官卡罗琳•温(Caroline Winn)最近提交的一份关于野火缓解计划的文件中承认,有必要解决这一问题。由于没有一种自动化的方法来防止通电的电线掉到地上,公共事业公司选择完全关闭野火附近地区的电力,以降低引起火灾蔓延的风险,这一策略对客户来说很困难,特别是COVID-19大流行期间

“我们认识到,我们的野火防范工作并非对我们的客户没有重大影响,我们推进保护公共安全的集体目标时,客户表现出了难以置信的耐心和理解,温恩事先准备好的声明中说:“这次流感大流行和去年的极端天气事件不仅扩大了我们提出有助于减少这些影响的解决方案的责任,我们将每天努力做到这一点,而且还加强了我们建设一个更具弹性的电力系统以保护我们地区的承诺。”

施瓦茨指出,SDG&E还可以通过其他方式利用其私人LTE网络,例如协调不同来源之间的电力,包括私人拥有的风能和太阳能系统

施瓦茨说:“他们(SDG&E官员)很早就将智能电网部署到了他们的网络中;他们很早就发现了技术缓解野火方面的价值。”。“对我来说,这个(私人LTE计划)只是另一个领导职位

“我们很高兴能够推动这些专用LTE网络向前发展,以解决真正重要的用例野火缓解非常重要,但这只是他们许多用例中使用此网络的一长串机会的开始。”

尽管SDG&E和Ameren交易中公布的财务数据相似,但也存差异。或许最值得注意的是,Ameren协议包括一项为期30年的频谱租赁协议,即向Anterix授予6兆赫的900兆赫宽带频谱,而SDG&E实际上将几年内持有其服务区域圣迭戈县、帝国县和奥兰治县部分地区的同一频段的许可证

他说:“我们将2022年开始,2023年完成分县的频谱传输。”。“我们必须清除宽带频谱中的现有用户。因此,该频谱中有一些现有的许可证持有人将重新调谐[系统使用附近的900兆赫窄带频谱]

“一旦我们完成这项工作,我们就向联邦通信委员会申请,他们授予我们宽带许可证,这就是我们向他们(SDG&E)转让的内容。”

施瓦茨说,Anterix能否调整协议,以满足客户的需求,特别是公用事业公司,每个州,公用事业公司都可能面临不同的要求,因为它们试图将900兆赫宽带频谱纳入其费率基础,这对公司未来的成功至关重要。他说,由SDG&E等公用事业公司运营的“复杂系统”尤其如此,这些系统包括超过25个互联站点

施瓦茨说:“从结构上讲,我们将采取灵活措施,这些公司都是大公司,我们必须找到一种方法,使之为它们服务。”。“但归根结底,这是另一个非常重要的实用工具,致力于使用私有LTE来支持一些真正的任务关键型用例

“我们认为,长期租赁模式是安泰利克斯未来的核心业务模式。但对于这些复杂的系统,我们需要(协议的)结构上更加灵活,并承认它们已经是市场上的重要许可证持有人。事实上,这些都是自愿的协议,这意味着我们将努力为Anterix和全国的公用事业公司找到双赢的解决方案。”

施瓦茨说,除了证明Anterix可以解决复杂系统的市场问题外,SDG&E交易还标志着Anterix的第一个商业协议,该协议没有试验性试点项目作为前身。SDG&E确实获得了FCC的实验许可证,可以CBRS无线电波上测试智能电网应用,Anterix的官员认为,CBRS无线电波是900 MHz宽带频谱的一个极好的频谱补充

 

英文译文:

Anterix this week announced a $50 million deal with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) that will result in the utility becoming the license holder for 900 MHz broadband spectrum that will be used to support a private LTE network that will support smart-grid and wildfire-mitigation initiatives.

For Anterix, the SDG&E contract is the company’s second significant commercial broadband agreement, following a $48 million deal with Ameren that was announced less than two months ago. While inking deals worth $98 million in such a short time period certainly is important to Anterix financially, the strategic benefits of the announcements are even greater, Anterix CEO Rob Schwartz said.

“To me, getting these two important utilities to publicly identify that 900 MHz private LTE is a critical piece of their organizations—for common use cases and unique use cases—is the beginning of what was momentum before, and now we see it as a movement,” Schwartz said during an interview with . “This is the beginning of a nationwide movement to bring 900 MHz private broadband to utilities across the country.”

Having SDG&E commit to adopting 900 MHz airwaves as part of its broadband spectral foundation—the company also won CBRS spectrum licenses at 3.5 GHz in a recent FCC auction—is important, because SDG&E is recognized as a technology leader in the utility sector, according to Schwartz.

“I do think that, as a technology leader, when they start deploying, it’s going to be very influential on the state government and other utilities in the state in hopefully following pretty soon, so there can be a ubiquitous system with communication between [utility networks],” he said.

“They’re going to help us drive the industry overall—not just in their important area, but throughout the state of California and across the nation. It’s another partner in our coalition that’s driving forward the industry into this nationwide network of networks.”

Schwartz said he is particularly excited about the potential benefit that a 900 MHz private LTE network can bring to SDG&E in terms of helping mitigate the risk of wildfires caused by sparks from downed power lines. With a dedicated LTE system, the expectation is that low-latency communications can be used to automatically de-energize a falling power line before it hits the ground and ignites a fire.

It’s a scenario that SDG&E has been tackling for years, resulting in the utility taking a leadership role in this area, Schwartz said.

“With that leadership and as part of the collaboration component of the agreement, we really see the opportunity to drive not only private LTE but specifically that [wildfire-mitigation] use case across the state and into Washington, Oregon and the rest of the western region that unfortunately has been plagued with wildfires lately,” Schwartz said.

Indeed, SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn acknowledged the need to address the matter in a recent filing about wildfire-mitigation plans. Without an automated method to keep energized power lines from falling to the ground, utilities have opted to turn off electricity entirely to areas near wildfire in an effort to reduce the risk of causing blazes to spread—a tactic that is difficult on customers, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognize that our wildfire preparedness efforts are not without significant impacts to our customers, who have shown incredible patience and understanding as we advance our collective goal to protect public safety,” Winn said in the prepared statement. “The pandemic and last year’s extreme weather events not only magnified our responsibility to bring forth solutions that help reduce those impacts, which we will work every day to do, but they also reinforced our commitment to build a more resilient electric system to safeguard our region.”

Schwartz noted that SDG&E also can leverage its private LTE network in other ways, such as coordinating power between disparate sources, including privately owned wind and solar systems.

“They [SDG&E officials] were early in deploying the smart grid into their network; they were early in identifying the value of technology in mitigating wildfires,” Schwartz said. “To me, this [private LTE initiative] is just another position of leadership.

“We’re excited to be driving forward these private LTE networks to solve really important use cases—wildfire mitigation is important, but it’s just the beginning of a long list of opportunities for them to use this network across many use cases.”

Although the announced financial figures in the SDG&E and Ameren deals are similar, there are differences. Perhaps most notably, the Ameren agreement includes a 30-year spectrum lease to 6 MHz of 900 MHz broadband spectrum licensed to Anterix, while SDG&E actually will hold the license to the same swath of spectrum within its service territory—San Diego County, Imperial County and part of Orange County—within a couple of years.

“We’ll be delivering the spectrum, by county, starting in 2022 and completed in 2023,” he said. “We’ve got to clear the incumbents in that broadband spectrum. So, there are some existing licensees in that spectrum that will retune [system to use nearby 900 MHz narrowband spectrum].

“Once we complete that, we apply to the FCC, they grant us a broadband license, and that’s what we transfer to them [to SDG&E].”

Schwartz said the ability for Anterix to adapt agreements to suit the needs of customers—particularly utilities, which can face different requirements in each state as they try to incorporate 900 MHz broadband spectrum into their rate bases—is going to be crucial to the company’s future success. That is especially the case with “complex systems” run by utilities like SDG&E that include more than 25 connected sites, he said.

“Structurally, we’re going to be flexible—these are big companies, and we’ve got to find a way to make it work for them,” Schwartz said. “But at the end of the day, this is another very significant utility committing to using private LTE to support some really mission-critical use cases.

“We think that model of long-term leasing is the core business model of Anterix going forward. But with these complex systems, we’ll need to be more flexible in our structuring [of agreements] and to recognize them as being significant licensees already in the marketplace. The fact that these are voluntary agreements means we’ll work to find win-win solutions for Anterix and for the utilities nationwide.”

In addition to proving that Anterix can address the market for complex systems, the SDG&E deal also marks the first commercial agreement for Anterix that did not have an experimental pilot program as a precursor, Schwartz said. SDG&E did secure an experimental license from the FCC to test smart-grid applications on CBRS airwaves, which Anterix officials believe is an excellent spectral complement to 900 MHz broadband spectrum.

 

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