UK wireless telecommunications provider Vilicom is using network software provider Mavenir's MAVair suite as an important element of deploying the UK's first private offshore LTE network for wind farm communications and connectivity, Mavenir said.
The MAVair product family includes the flexible Open Virtualised RAN (Open vRAN), in which the advanced RAN architecture, which was developed using cloud-native virtualization technologies, enables the RAN to adapt flexibly depending on use and range.
"Mavenir's Open vRAN platform enables Vilicom to offer a reliable, scalable, high throughput solution that meets the needs of low latency in a demanding environment. The software application runs on standard hardware and offers network operators cost-effectiveness, high flexibility and agility as well as a single architecture for many different user scenarios at the same time," MAVair said.
Vilicom said earlier this year it was providing a cloud-enabled private mobile network for the Moray East wind farm for wind turbine maker Vestas, in a first for a UK offshore wind farm.
The network will function as a voice and broadband communications network for up to 500 people, plus hundreds of devices and critical technologies needed during the construction and long-term operation of the new sustainable energy development off the coast of Scotland.
Currently in its construction phase 20 miles off the Scottish coast, the Moray East wind farm will comprise 100 Vestas V164-9.5 MW units, giving a combined total power output of 950 MW. The turbines will generate enough power to supply electricity to approximately one million households across the United Kingdom.
According to Mavenir, the Vilicom network provides "enhanced" communication and connectivity for ocean-going vessels and for the workers working within the wind farm off the Scottish coast. This connectivity also allows workers to keep in touch with each other via video calls and emails on a regular basis when they are at sea.
"Without super-fast and reliable connectivity, it is difficult to build efficiencies into the construction and operation of a wind farm. Vilicom will provide network connectivity for all ocean-going vessels operated as part of the project and will provide functionality that enables workers to communicate not only at sea, but also at home and for leisure,” said Sean Keating, CEO of Vilicom.
"At Mavenir, we are delighted to be partnering with Vilicom on this important and complex private network system. Private networks are spreading more and more, and we look forward to working with Vilicom to further develop such use cases and applications. This project emphasizes the relevance and importance of modern communication in real application scenarios, ”explains Stefano Cantarelli, Chief Marketing Officer of Mavenir.