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Nokia to supply network to Kansas city utility

Wavence portfolio to support high-bandwidth services such as video and emerging grid applications

The network will support 800,000 plus customers in and around Kansas City
The network will support 800,000 plus customers in and around Kansas City

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) has chosen Nokia to modernise its microwave communications network that supports a range of mission-critical services for the utility’s power transmission and distribution grid.


KCP&L is reinforcing its network using Nokia’s Wavence microwave packet radio family of technologies (formerly known as the 9500 microwave packet radio) which will enable the utility to support all of its grid control applications alongside its legacy data services using a single, converged network.


The new network is intended to support power delivery and reliability for KCP&L’s 800,000 plus customers in and around Kansas City, Missouri, as well as parts of neighboring state of Kansas.


“Nokia’s microwave packet radio technology delivers the reliability and performance needed to support our current operations, while providing the scalability and flexibility to introduce new services in the future,” said Melvin Sam Charuvilayil, supervisor network planning & engineering, KCP&L.


“Future proof can be an overused term, but the fact that we can easily transition all our TDM applications into the packet realm seamlessly, while supporting our latency-sensitive teleprotection traffic, is particularly appealing.”


KCP&L’s said the upgrade will simplify the management and operation of its network today, while laying the groundwork for the introduction of emerging grid applications in the future. The contract is covered by a 10-year agreement to enable network expansions and upgrades.


The current deployment, covering 40 sites, is already underway and is to be completed before the end of 2017. A second phase consisting of 29 additional sites will follow shortly after.


For the project, Nokia is introducing the latest microwave packet radio technology as an overlay to existing equipment. This approach will enable KCP&L to expand its bandwidth to support new IP-based applications without the need for new antenna infrastructure and without forcing a disruption of existing communications, reducing costs and facilitating a seamless, incremental migration from TDM to IP.


“We chose Nokia because of [its] commitment to the utility industry and because its solution portfolio incorporates microwave radio as a part of its end-to-end communications architecture for utilities,” added Sam Charuvilayil.


“Nokia’s network service platform brings network management under one umbrella, simplifying our provisioning and troubleshooting processes across our IP/MPLS and microwave networks and helping us ensure reliable communications to support grid operations.”


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