Nokia has announced its collaboration with U.S. energy provider Xcel Energy to modernize grid operations, aiming to enhance customer service across the company's eight-state service area. As part of the project, Nokia will deploy private LTE network technology, ensuring secure and reliable data connectivity and enabling new levels of automation. This advanced network infrastructure will support Xcel Energy's transition to a more sustainable future by integrating a variety of renewable power sources into its energy distribution grid, including wind and solar energy.

The implementation of a robust, resilient and secure private LTE network will play a crucial role in Xcel Energy's ambitious vision of achieving a net-zero energy future by 2050. The network will facilitate seamless connectivity for industrial Internet of Things (IoT) sensors at remote locations, enabling efficient monitoring and management of assets. With improved grid automation, Xcel Energy will have the capability to swiftly isolate and address outages, ensuring a more reliable and efficient energy distribution system.

The upgraded grid will also bring significant benefits to Xcel Energy's 3.7 million electricity customers in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. Customers will experience an enhanced user interface with greater transparency and control over their energy consumption through the integration of smart meters and online tools. This modernization effort signifies a significant step towards building a sustainable and customer-centric energy ecosystem.

Tim Peterson, SVP and chief technology officer at Xcel Energy, said: "We know our customers rely on us to deliver clean, affordable and reliable energy. As the first major U.S. power provider to announce a plan to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050, the Nokia private LTE network will support us on our journey, allowing us to leverage better field communications and greater intelligence across the grid for optimized and sustainable operations."

Matt Young, head of enterprise for North America at Nokia, said: "With this critical network deployment, Xcel Energy can converge multiple applications onto a single robust, reliable and secure mission-critical private LTE network for more efficient operations. And, as its digitalization needs evolve, the company will benefit from a wide ecosystem of compelling Industry 4.0 applications to support current and future use cases and achieve its operational, environmental, efficiency and safety goals."

Nokia will design and integrate the network leveraging Xcel Energy’s choice of Anterix 900 MHz spectrum based on the Nokia Modular Private Wireless (MPW) solution combined with Nokia Operational Support Systems (OSS). The solution will leverage Xcel Energy’s existing high-performance Nokia IP/MPLS infrastructure.

Nokia has deployed mission-critical networks to over 2,600 leading enterprise customers across industry sectors, including energy utilities, ports, mines, manufacturers and logistics companies.

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