Thüga and 450connect: radio service framework agreement concluded

September 13, 2023

Reliable voice and data communication for everyday operations and crisis situations for operators of critical infrastructures / secure and robust platform for highly available radio services / powerful communication solution for resilient, future-oriented and sustainable energy supply

The Cologne-based company 450connect has expanded its customer base to include a significant community of energy and water supply companies. At the beginning of September, Thüga Aktiengesellschaft (AG) concluded a radio service framework agreement (FDRV) together with 450connect GmbH. The Munich-based company is a holding and consulting company which, as a minority shareholder, has holdings in around 100 companies in the municipal energy and water industry throughout Germany. One of Thüga’s goals is to further consolidate Germany’s largest municipal association of local and regional energy and water supply companies as a strong community and to shape the future of municipal energy supply. With the conclusion of the framework agreement, Thüga’s partner companies have the opportunity to gain access to 450connect’s 450 MHz radio network and thus, as innovative and responsible operators of critical infrastructures, ensure a resilient, future-oriented and sustainable energy supply.

Future-proof 450 MHz radio network for critical infrastructure operators

450connect builds and operates the only nationwide radio network that offers fail-safe voice and data communications with excellent area and building coverage to all critical infrastructure companies on a non-discriminatory basis. Furthermore, the advantages of the 450 MHz radio network lie in the dual use of its capacities. On the one hand, this means ensuring regular operation including monitoring and control of millions of decentralised systems by operators of critical infrastructures. In the event of a crisis, on the other hand, the focus is on crisis communication and control of the critical facilities in the respective situation. Due to its emergency power supply, the radio network is available nationwide for at least 72 hours and thus enables all operators of critical infrastructures to exchange information in order to restore supply as quickly as possible in critical situations. Test operations with customers from the 450connect shareholder group in the LTE450 radio network began at the end of March 2023. The focus of the tests is on radio services for the use cases smart grid, smart meter gateway and in-house mobile voice and data communication. The network expansion will be completed by 2025.

Digitisation of the energy industry with a secure and robust platform for highly available radio services

Dr Matthias Cord, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Thüga AG, is pleased with the FDRV conclusion: “With the energy transition, the requirements for continuous monitoring and precise control of our power grids are increasing. With the help of the 450 MHz communication infrastructure, our partner companies are creating more transparency in their medium and low-voltage grids, can achieve reliable measurement and control via smart metering systems thanks to good building penetration, and can ensure fail-safe voice communication.” And Hans Capko, Head of Technology at Thüga AG’s Competence Centre Networks, adds: “We are convinced of the advantages of this mobile technology for the energy sector. That’s why we have been accompanying its development in a pilot project since 2016 and are now looking forward to implementing it with our partner companies.”

A digitalised network infrastructure is indispensable for achieving the German government’s climate targets. “The development of the 450 MHz network pays into the digitalisation of the entire energy sector and is an important building block for protecting critical infrastructures even better as well as ensuring their resilient construction. We are therefore very pleased that we have been able to win Thüga and with it another large community of energy and water supply companies as customers. This shows once again how important our secure and always reliable as well as future-proof 450 MHz radio network is for operators of critical infrastructures, both in everyday operations and in challenging situations,” Frederik Giessing, Managing Director of 450connect, is convinced. Test operations with the first Thüga partner companies will start shortly.

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