Making the Case for Utility Private LTE Networks | Black & Veatch

Making the Case for Utility Private LTE Networks

Making the Case for Utility Private LTE Networks

Private LTE (PLTE) is quickly becoming the leading network solution for the grid edge.  With high-bandwidth, low-latency performance, PLTE is the leading technology to take on grid modernization and the surge of data from utility applications. 

It’s time to rethink the utility network.  Start seeing it as a strategic asset rather than an afterthought, and you’ll begin to realize its power beyond simply a telecom application, and a way to integrate IT and OT to accelerate digitalization.   But why now?

Going Green

By 2050, 44% of generation will be renewables according to the U.S. EIA[1].   With renewable generation comes increased variable power sources and time variances to monitor, control and automate to maintain the system’s integrity.

Advancing Edge

The centralized utility landscape is changed to a decentralized operation to accommodate distributed generation assets, DERs and demand response programs.  Computing and operations are no longer one way from generation to end user but will be designed to manage the bi-directional power flow associated with a dynamic energy marketplace.

PLTE Teaser Image

While the Energy Transition brings opportunities to decarbonize and support electrification with affordable, sustainable power, integrating renewables and DERS has proven to be challenging. 

Utilities are turning to AMI, sensors, and intelligent devices to bring this transition into clearer view, eager to use powerful data to improve operations and drive new business models. But, with this technology comes big data to instantly gather, analyze and share across the enterprise, revealing a gap in the utility operation — the network.

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Device Densification

To support an envisioned grid where it still coordinates energy supply and demand between utilities and third-party asset owners, the number of IP-enabled intelligent electronic devices on the grid can increase up to +1,500% by 2050.  A robust, private LTE network will enable utilities to move and process this data at the speed required to maintain grid integrity and reliability.  

Focus on Cybersecurity

Due the densification of all of these IP-enabled devices and more third-party interconnecting to the grid, cybersecurity is a growing concern.

As mission-critical infrastructure, utilities demand always-on, priority network access they can control and secure to industry standards. PLTE is carrier-grade technology backed by global standards and a robust supplier ecosystem. Make it private, and utilities have the confidence to digitally transform and realize a more intelligent and secure grid. Here are some of the technology’s key attributes that make it a smart choice to meet your use case.

Future Proof

LTE is the foundational technology standard that will evolve with generations, securing your future with a Private 4G LTE network that can transition to 5G when ready.


Based on the 3GPP standard, LTE is continually analyzed and tested to improve network vulnerabilities and standards.  PLTE enables robust security control and redundancy and offers multiple barriers to a cyberattack.  It’s SIM-based to allow encryption and authorization at the device or application layer. 

Optimized Coverage & Performance

Utilities no longer need to compete for capacity or preference. You control where you need coverage and when to scale, optimizing the network to your requirements and ensuring high speeds and processing for high-volume data applications. 


Days of multiple, disparate networks are gone.  Private LTE enables consolidation of applications into one single, robust network - reducing operating expenses.

Total Cost of Ownership

PLTE networks enable scalability more than other wireless networks, so there is less equipment to purchase and sites to maintain long-term. In addition, depending on spectrum selected this can significantly impact the overall infrastructure to deploy your network, for instance the number of sites required.  Using existing communications infrastructure can further lower capital expenditures.

Private LTE, with dedicated spectrum, is a scalable foundation that can grow and adapt as data requirements soar.  Connect with Black & Veatch’s Private Networks Team to begin building your implementation strategy and deciding which spectrum option is right for you.


Learn more about Black & Veatch’s private network solutions for utilities.

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