Rethinking the FAN for grid automation

Pairing private LTE with IP/MPLS beyond substations
White Paper Thu 16 Nov 2017

With new market forces, green environmental regulations and disruptive energy technologies, the energy industry landscape is changing and utilities are facing an array of challenges. To continue flourishing in this environment, many are modernizing their grids and bolstering customer relationships. Underpinning these efforts is a shift in the communications technologies utilized in the field area network (FAN). An emerging FAN architecture is to couple a private LTE network using dedicated spectrum with BGP/MPLS services extended to the FAN edge. This new FAN enables convergence by providing a ubiquitous service and management environment for secure, reliable connectivity of smart grid applications that monitor, control and automate distribution grids today. This paper describes a private, converged FAN architecture grounded in the two strong technology pillars of LTE and IP/MPLS, and its capabilities, benefits and flexibility.