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Nokia modernizes the Smart Grid to bring power distribution networks into the IoT era

by david.nunes

Nokia modernizes the Smart Grid to bring power distribution networks into the IoT era

Nokia modernizes the Smart Grid to bring power distribution networks into the IoT era


  • Utilities deploying Smart Grid applications can now wirelessly extend mission-critical IP/MPLS services to grid locations in a converged field area network (FAN) using LTE/3G
  • The Nokia 7705 SAR-Hm connects field devices with IP/MPLS and wirelessly to 3G/LTE networks, enabling advanced power distribution automation to better realize the full potential of Smart Grids


31 January 2017

San Diego, CA, DistribuTECH #DTECH2017, booth #645 – Nokia is introducing the 7705 SAR-Hm, a purpose-built, feature-rich LTE/3G wireless router aimed at modernizing distribution networks for utilities, but with clear applications for other high growth vertical markets, like Smart Cities. The newest addition to the Nokia Service Routing portfolio merges IP/MPLS and LTE/3G technologies to provide utilities state-of-the-art wireless connectivity for grid devices located deep in a highly scalable distribution network. This allows for promising new smart grid applications, including distribution automation, advanced metering, and integration of renewable energy sources, and lays the groundwork to support an anticipated massive increase in field devices with the Internet of Things (IoT).


Many power utilities currently use narrowband or proprietary wireless solutions to connect their field devices to each other and the control center. Most remote devices have no connectivity at all. Without the ability to scale and manage the network, remote monitoring and control of devices is challenging, costly and extremely difficult to operate and deploy. Nokia has applied its experience in deploying secure IP/MPLS networks and LTE/3G to extend the reach of utilities’ networks with this solution. Network operators, both public and private, will now have high capacity connectivity in their power distribution grids and directly into field devices, as well as the highest levels of reliability, security and scalability for mission-critical applications and services.

As Smart Grids are deployed, utilities will face a huge proliferation in the number of field devices they need to connect and manage. This includes integrating renewable energy resources, such as solar panels and wind farms, which are putting new demands on the electrical distribution system. Shifting loads and fluctuating generation from renewables will require real-time adjustment without operator intervention. Because the 7750 SAR-Hm distributes intelligence wirelessly over the IP/MPLS transport network, devices in the field will now be able to communicate and make decisions without human intervention as well as have greater flexibility, reliability and scale. This is critical for a more responsive grid today, and support for the expected increase in IoT devices in the future.



John Hughes, Director, Network Engineering and Operations, Ameren Services, said: “Nokia’s addition of secure LTE and WiFi wireless connectivity into their existing 7705 service router product line dramatically increases the ability to integrate and centralize management of our end-to-end service connectivity for utility operations to meet our mission critical requirements.” 

Melvin Sam Charuvilayil, Supervisor, IT Network Planning & Engineering, Kansas City Power and Light, said: “Adding LTE and other wireless capabilities to the proven 7705 platform provides compelling new choices for utilities looking to extend the reach of their connectivity to modernize grid operations.”

Mike Zeto, General Manager and Executive Director of AT&T Smart Cities, said: “AT&T is excited to team with Nokia to offer US utilities a private LTE solution. The new Nokia wireless router will help utility customers modernize their grid distribution and build converged field area networks to reap the benefits of the smart grid.”

Richelle Elberg, Principal Analyst, Energy, at Navigant Research, said “A holistic, network-centric strategy will benefit utilities which recognize how the industry is changing. A converged FAN approach leveraging IP/MPLS and LTE offers a future-proof, ubiquitous network with the capacity to handle new energy services, transactive energy models, DER integration and better customer engagement-in addition to more traditional smart grid and smart city applications.  As described in our white paper, Communications in the Energy Cloud, Navigant Research has dubbed this holistic networking strategy the ‘Energy Superhighway.'”

Sri Reddy, head of the IP Routing and Packet Core Business Unit for Nokia, said: “Power utilities worldwide are in the midst of a significant transformation as they gear up to meet new market forces, green environmental regulations and disruptive renewable energy technologies. Grid reliability, power quality and automation are all key areas that will require improved field area networks. We are excited to offer our utility customers wireless options for extending the proven, secure and reliable IP/MPLS services of our Service Router portfolio. This will not only allow them to modernize their field area operations with more automation and monitoring for improved grid reliability and power quality, it will position them well to maximize tomorrow’s opportunities.” 

Fast facts:

  • Utilities can now use wireless infrastructure to introduce IP/MPLS services to locations and devices that previously lacked adequate connectivity
  • The Nokia 7705 SAR-Hm enables applications that improve grid reliability and power quality, allowing for automation and supports green energy initiatives
  • The SAR-Hm uses standards-based LTE/3G and IP/MPLS technologies, and security features in both hardware and software implementations, including the award winning Network Group Encryption (NGE)
  • This provides the highest levels of reliability, security and scalability for mission-critical applications and services and to protect against cyberattacks.
  • With this platform, proven secure and reliable IP/MPLS services of the Nokia Service Router portfolio are extended with LTE/3G and Wi-Fi.
  • The SAR Hm expands Nokia’s mission critical WAN solution set, already deployed in over 100 utility customers globally.

Ideal for power utilities, the Nokia 7705 SAR-Hm is also available for other industry sectors requiring wireless connectivity of IP/MPLS services for field operations, including oil and gas, mining, public safety, government, transportation and aviation. This demonstrates Nokia’s continued investment in its IP/MPLS routing portfolio, and is in keeping with the company’s strategy to broaden its footprint beyond service providers, to vertical markets needing high-performing, reliable and secure networks.

The Nokia 7705 SAR-Hm will be on display along with a FAN demo in the Nokia booth #645 at #DistribuTECH in San Diego, January 31-Feb 2. Nokia will also be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Feb 27-Mar 2 in booth #XX. #MWC2017

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About Nokia

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From the enabling infrastructure for 5G and the Internet of Things, to emerging applications in virtual reality and digital health, we are shaping the future of technology to transform the human experience. www.nokia.com 

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