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ABB strengthens digital grid portfolio

Reliable information is key to quick and accurate decision making particularly with sprawling, connected networks

Mission-critical communication networks enhance ABB's digital offering
Mission-critical communication networks enhance ABB's digital offering

Swiss power and automation group ABB has acquired a mission-critical communication networks business from Keymile Group to bolster its electrical power grids division. The terms of the deal are undisclosed but it is expected to be finalised in the third quarter of 2017.


Extremely reliable communications technologies are considered essential to maintain today’s dynamic and complex digital electrical grids, said ABB, and is particularly true for sprawling, connected networks.


Keymile’s business will bring with it key products, software and service solutions, as well as research and development expertise.


The communication business base includes network operators of energy grids, railways, oil and gas pipelines, as well as public authorities. The 120 employees of the acquired business will join the grid automation business unit of ABB’s power grids division.


“The acquisition of Keymile’s mission-critical communication business will strengthen this position and extend our market reach in the industrial, transportation and infrastructure sectors,” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s power grids division.


“This move supports our growth plans and digitalisation push as part of our ABB Ability offering, as we strengthen our position as the partner of choice in enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”


The operation of mission-critical systems such as electrical grids requires communication networks with unparalleled performance and robustness based on special technology, protocols and software, said ABB.


Keymile’s communication portfolio is geared to meet the demands of network operators for reliability, availability and cyber security.


“Reliable telecommunications become increasingly important as the number of connected devices increases. While digitalisation provides opportunities for operational efficiencies and asset optimisation, it also brings new complexities in maintaining mission-critical operations,” added Rolf Unterberger, CEO of Keymile.


“We are very pleased that industry leader ABB will acquire our mission-critical communication networks business, which will enable the continued development of cutting-edge products, software and service solutions for grid operations.”


Keymile is headquartered in Hanover, Germany and was founded in 2002 through a merger of three technology companies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It manufactures mission-critical and broadband telecommunication solutions, with installations across 100 countries.


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