Arqiva delivers new state-of-the-art satellite solution for UK Power Networks
Replaces legacy paging-based system with portable, all-in-one BGAN terminals
May 23 2019, UK, London: Arqiva, the leading UK communications and infrastructure media services provider, has today announced that it has been selected by Britain’s biggest electricity distributor, UK Power Networks, to provide a new state-of-the-art Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) M2M solution for its secondary Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) network. The solution will enable UK Power Networks’ engineers to remotely operate equipment to restore customers’ power supplies quickly in the event of a power cut, and monitor and receive regular status updates from the field.
With its existing paging-based system reaching its end-of-life, and network coverage needed across remote areas with limited space for networking equipment, UK Power Networks was looking for a replacement solution with a maximum terminal size of 40cm. The new multi-year framework agreement will see Arqiva partner with Inmarsat to leverage its highly reliable network and new portable, all-in-one BGAN terminals, which measure 20cm by 20cm. The light-weight solutions are also very easy to install.
In addition to meeting the size requirements, the solution Arqiva delivered to UK Power Networks needed to be able to readily scale to keep pace with the anticipated increase in SCADA communications across the low voltage (LV) network. To future proof the communications network it also had to provide resilience to power failures, high levels of availability, low latency transactional messaging and be designed to withstand potential security attacks. With expertise in cyber security and extensive knowledge of communication networks for critical national infrastructure companies, Arqiva’s technical team was able to design a solution that meets UK Power Networks’ needs to monitor and control the distribution power network economically.
Roger Yeo, Operational Telecoms Manager at UK Power Networks, said: “As one of our existing SCADA services providers, we already have a great relationship with Arqiva so were delighted that the team was able to find a solution for our secondary network. Offering a fully managed service, combined with deep expertise in critical national infrastructure and strong cyber-security credentials we knew Arqiva was the right partner for us.”
The BGAN M2M solution is a new service offering for Arqiva, and an important addition to its Satellite Data Communications portfolio for the utilities industry – building on its Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) solution and allowing it to broaden into other SCADA networks.
Olivier Loriot, Head of Sales, Satellite Data Communications at Arqiva, said: “Thanks to both our heritage in the utility industry, and first-hand knowledge of the type of regulations it faces, we feel uniquely placed to understand the challenges customers like UK Power Networks face. We are committed to finding new and innovative ways to serve their businesses and are excited about the opportunities extending our portfolio into the BGAN space could bring.”
Following testing and an initial trial phase, a full rollout is expected to take place from Q1 2020.
Arqiva is a leading UK communications infrastructure and media services provider dedicated to connecting people wherever they are through the delivery of TV, radio, mobile and machine to machine communications.
We are an independent provider of telecom towers, with circa 8,000 active sites across Great Britain, and are also the only supplier of national terrestrial television and radio broadcasting services in the UK. Our advanced networks support the exponential growth of connected devices and the ever-increasing demand for data from smartphones to tablets, connected TVs to smart meters.
Customers include major UK and international broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Sky Plc., Turner Broadcasting, the independent radio groups, major telco providers – including the UK’s four mobile network operators – and energy and water companies.
For more information, news and insights from Arqiva, please visit the website at: www.arqiva.com
About UK Power Networks
UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England.
Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.
UK Power Networks continues to be listed in the Sunday Times’ Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running (2015 and 2016, also 2012).
The company invests more than £600 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies. If you have a power cut ring 105, see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk or tweet us @UKPowerNetworks.