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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Harris

First-Ever Private LTE Plugfest

I serve as the Executive Director of the Utility Broadband Alliance (UBBA), a growing trade association dedicated to helping utilities understand the evolution and availability of private broadband networks.

In October, UBBA held its inaugural Utility Broadband Plugfest to test LTE networks for utility use cases in St. Louis. UBBA delivered a sold-out, in-person event culminating with the first Utility Broadband Plugfest, which showcased the innovation, collaboration, and interoperability of utility use cases and devices on public and private LTE networks. The UBBA Plugfest attracted a strong contingent of utilities with more than 275 attendees in St. Louis, while another 150 watched remotely via the Cisco WebEx platform. The Plugfest featured critical use cases such as FLISR (Fault Location, Isolation, and Service Restoration), Capacitor Bank Controllers, Smart Streetlighting, and next-gen smart meters, to name a few.

Hosted by UBBA founding member Ameren Missouri, the test cases were identified by the UBBA Use Cases & Testbeds Working Group and led by the UBBA Plugfest Task Force. “Communication systems must be built to utility-grade standards to serve these critical infrastructure applications,” said Plugfest Task Force Leader, Mat Eshpeter from Burns & McDonnell. “During the UBBA Plugfest we demonstrated four infrastructure providers (Cisco, Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia) interoperability with 4RF, BEC Technology, Cisco, Council Rock, GE, Hitachi-ABB, Motorola, MultiTech within and between 900 MHz Band 8 and Band 48 CBRS. We also tested for failover to the FirstNet, AT&T, and UScellular Commercial networks.”

Some industry-first accomplishments from the Inaugural UBBA Plugfest included:

  • Two 1.4 MHz carriers in 3 MHz of the spectrum between two vendors

  • Showing a NB-IoT, CAT-M1 and LTE channel within a 3×3 spectrum block

  • Electric AMI Meters with under the glass PLTE in the 900 MHz band

Click here to watch a video to experience the LTE Industry Leadership of UBBA!

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