Nokia and NetNordic to deliver 5G network to Equinor

By Dominic Ellis
The 8-year frame agreement covers hardware, software, design, radio planning, implementation and support - and comes as Ericsson launches Private 5G

Nokia is collaborating with NetNordic in an eight-year agreement with Equinor to deliver a private 4G and 5G-ready solution for the energy giant's international operations.

The industrial-grade private wireless technology will deliver the reliability, capacity, security and low latency needed to support collaboration between teams across Equinor’s installations.

The frame agreement will include hardware, software, design, radio planning, implementation and support. Under the agreement, the private LTE network will be installed this summer at Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal windfarms, located in the UK and both operated by Equinor.

Jarl Øverby, NetNordic Group CEO, said: “Working with Nokia we are able to deliver the secure, smart, offshore wireless digital fabric that Equinor can use to support its communication and maintenance activities and safety objectives. This includes the flexibility to employ a wide range of integrated applications, including Nokia DAC teams comms and Nokia Drone Networks, and the capability to deploy them to the edge. This is a secure and resilient solution that will easily scale and evolve to 5G to meet their future needs.”

Raghav Saghal, Nokia’s President of Cloud and Network Services, said Equinor is one of the most forward looking energy companies in the world, with a growing wind and renewables business and impressive sustainability targets for its oil and gas production. "Nokia has a long history of working closely with the energy industry, and as the world leader in private wireless, we are pleased to deploy our 5G-ready technology to Equinor," he said.

Nokia DAC solution comprises the Nokia 4.9G LTE and 5G Radio Access Network technology and Nokia Industrial devices. The solution also includes a large range of access points both for indoor and outdoor coverage, and an edge solution with complete packet core and application framework for edge computing.

Nokia has deployed mission-critical networks to over 1,550 leading customers in the energy, transportation, large enterprise, manufacturing, webscale, and public sector segments around the globe. Leading enterprises across industries are leveraging decades of Nokia experience building some of the biggest and most advanced IP, optical and wireless networks on the planet.

The Nokia Bell Labs Future X for industries architecture provides a framework for enterprises to accelerate their digitalization and automation journey to Industry 4.0. Nokia has also pioneered the private wireless space with many industries, and now has more than 290 large enterprise customers deploying it around the world, of which over 40 incorporate 5G.

Nokia has also teamed up with DELTA Fiber Netherlands to offer DELTA 10 Gb/s broadband in the Dutch market. The sole supplier agreement covers both the network and equipment for customer premises. Deployment starts with new build followed by replacement of existing equipment.

Ericsson launches Private 5G

News of the Nokia-Equinor partnership comes as Ericsson is launching Ericsson Private 5G, a 'secure and simple' 4G LTE and 5G Standalone (SA) connectivity primarily targeting – but not limited to – manufacturing, mining and process industry, offshore and power utilities, as well as ports and airports.

Ericsson Private 5G optimizes and simplifies business operations with cloud-based network management, keeps sensitive data on-premise, has zero downtime upgrades and guarantees high performance through Service-Level Agreements (SLAs).

Niels König, Coordinator 5G-Industry Campus Europe, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, said private 5G networks are highly attractive for producing companies because of the uncompromised performance that 5G can bring, allowing them to tackle the challenges of production.

"Efficiently deploying and using network solutions in enterprises requires simplicity in installation, flexibility in connecting to existing production IT and lean operations while at the same time being able to scale the network to meet future challenges," he said. 

According to McKinsey estimates, making use of advanced connectivity to optimise drilling and production throughput and improve maintenance and field operations could add up to $250 billion of value to the industry’s upstream operations by 2030.

Of that value, between $160 and $180 billion could be realized with existing infrastructure, while an additional $70 billion could be unlocked with low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and next-generation 5G technologies.

Reconciling data consumption with net-zero targets will be a challenge. Electricity consumption from China’s data centres and 5G base stations alone could almost quadruple from to 2035, putting the sector under pressure to commit to clean energy sources, according to environmental group Greenpeace.

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed a wirelessly powered relay network for 5G systems. The proposed battery-free communication addresses the challenges of flexible deployment of relay networks and will have applications across a range of sectors (click here).

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