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This project ended in Oct 2019 and is now closed.Dismiss

Next Generation Wireless Telecoms Analysis

Funding mechanismNetwork Innovation Allowance (NIA)
DurationSep 2018 - Oct 2019
Project expenditure260k
Research areaNew Technologies and Commercial Evolution
  • South West
  • West Midlands
  • November 2019

    The Project is complete. The Closedown report has been submitted for review within the Innovation Team.


The Project will be centred on the WPD license areas in order to establish the traffic characteristics and operational communication needs of both planned and anticipated ‘Smart Grid’ deployments. Once the traffic profile and area of service have been established the network modelling will produce a Radio Network Design that will:

  • Define the scale of equipment and infrastructure deployment necessary;
  • Determine the performance characteristics that can be sustained in a robust and resilient manner;
  • Characterise the functionality available to enable ‘Smart Grid’ operations;
  • Identify the amount and characteristics of radio spectrum needed; and
  • Network Design Learning can be leveraged across other use cases and DNO areas.
  • Inform the investment requirements for future communications capability;
  • Facilitate awareness raising with Government & Ofcom; and
  • Inform the business case for system roll-out that will be a key enabler of the DNO to DSO transition.


Electricity distribution networks face unprecedented challenges. More and more distributed generation is embedded in their networks, much of it intermittent and at the edges of the networks, with significant increases in loading, driven by electrification of transport and heat as the UK seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Re-enforcement of the networks has traditionally been the response but at significant cost and disruption. Alternatively, making the networks more intelligent and responsive can often delay or even avoid such investments, minimising the cost and disruption to customers.

The key to the intelligent energy network of the future is enhanced visibility of the network assets in real time, allied to secure and fast switching to ensure a rapid response to changes in the energy supply dynamic. This will enable supply and demand to be balanced on a minute by minute basis at the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) level and will be a key component of the transition of the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to becoming a Distribution System Operator (DSO).

Utilities already have extensive and varied radio networks connecting thousands of monitoring and control points. However, these systems need to be expanded and enhanced to manage the increasingly diverse and dynamic electricity networks they control with the anticipated replacement of legacy systems in the process. More intelligent networks will be able to prevent some outages; but when they do happen, advanced telecommunications help restore supplies more quickly. Applying more intelligence into the networks will also avoid or delay more costly re-enforcement investments.


Project will be delivered over a 12 -13 month’s period in 4 overlapping phases below:

  • Project initiation and mobilisation;
  • Refine designs and services ;
  • Optimisation; and
  • Analysis and Close Down (Analyse results, evaluate Next Generation Wireless Telecoms solution).

The project will be delivered by JRC with support of the WPD Project Manager working in collaboration with personnel from WPD Telecom. A detailed scope shall be established contractually between the two parties at the Project Plan agreement phase (Milestone 1). The Project Manager shall ensure that all deliverables are met within the timeframe.