Nokia picks up private LTE contract in Ireland

Nokia and Sigma Wireless Communications were awarded a contract to supply and install an LTE core and radio access network (RAN) in Ireland over the next three years.

The contract, awarded by Irish energy company ESB Networks (ESBN), will integrate renewable energy to the grid, playing into ESBN’s "Networks for Net Zero" Strategy and the Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan.

The new network will also enable decarbonization of the electrical network and electrification of heat and transport. “A dedicated Smart Grid telecoms network forms part of ESB Networks' Innovation Strategy that aims to bring many benefits to Ireland from an environmental, economic and customer perspective,” ESBN said in an announcement.

ESBN company announced in May that it had completed a process to award the development of the private mobile network and was working to draw up the contract with Sigma Wireless Communications and Nokia.

In 2019 ComReg awarded a 15-year license for radio spectrum to ESBN, allowing the company to pursue this network buildout. In its recently published Networks for Net Zero strategy, ESBN laid out its plans to develop the electricity network that will be supported by a dedicated smart-grid telecom system. 

“An ever smarter and agile electricity network is key to the delivery of a more sustainable future, with the customer at its core,” said Nicholas Tarrant, ESBN managing director, in a statement.

Tarrant added the private telecom network will be “an indispensable precursor to delivering a Net Zero-ready electricity network.”

Sigma Wireless has a long history spanning back over 30 years working with ESBN. As a subcontractor, Nokia will provide the core and radio access networks across ESBN and Sigma Wireless' converged IP/MPLS backhaul network for critical grid communications.

“Enabling the decarbonizing of energy grids while ensuring resilient critical infrastructure is an opportunity that we are helping customers address across the world," said Phil Siveter, U.K. and Ireland CEO at Nokia.