Vilicom taps Athonet for private LTE/5G core network at Moray East windfarm in UK
Athonet has confirmed it is providing UK-based cellular system integrator Vilicom with the core network for its new private LTE installation at the Moray East windfarm off the coast of Scotland. The Moray East setup is billed as the first off-shore private LTE network. Mavenir as confirmed as open RAN software provider for the project in August.
Athonet has been engaged with Vilicom at Moray East since last year. (Its public references usually come after the event.) The new LTE network at Moray East, presented as “5G-ready”, provides communications and connectivity between sea vessels and workers at the windfarm.
The connectivity also allows workers to be in touch with home through video calls and emails whilst at sea. Athonet supports 5G-SA, 5G-NSA, LTE and IMS for VoLTE & VoNR in a single component solution. Texas-based Mavenir is providing a virtualised (software-based) open RAN platform. Both will work with any commoditised radio hardware.
The Moray East wind farm is projected to deliver approximately 40 percent of the total electricity demand in Scotland, said Mavenir, powering the equivalent of up to 950,000 homes (out of 2.64 million dwellings in Scotland). The new private LTE network will also allow workers to be in touch on a regular basis through video calls and emails whilst they are at sea.
Sean Keating, chief executive at Vilicom, said: “Building efficiencies into the construction and operations of a windfarm is a challenge without superfast and reliable connectivity. Vilicom will provide network connectivity to all project operating sea vessels and provides functionality that enables communication not only between workers at sea but also communication back home and for use in leisure time.”
Nanda Menon, director of corporate development for Athonet in the UK, said: “As enterprises adopt a wireless-first approach to the digitalisation plans, private 5G and LTE networks are the essential infrastructure to ensure reliable and predictable communications with no downtime. We look forward to working closely with Vilicom to develop many more use cases and applications to serve off-shore and on-shore industrial and commercial projects.”