Against security authorities: Utilities united in the dispute over 450 megahertz radio

In the dispute over the re-assignment of radio frequencies in the 450 megahertz range, the electricity, gas and water suppliers in their joint venture 450connect are applying for the exclusive rights to use the frequencies. According to the Welt am Sonntag the joint venture is to be carried by four companies with equal rights. The Dutch electricity grid operator Alliander, a consortium of German regional utilities, the E.on Innogy Group and the Utilities Alliance 450, an alliance of municipal utilities, energy and water utilities with the participation of EnBW, each hold 25 percent.

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  1. Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb), Berlin, Potsdam
  2. DPD Deutschland GmbH, Koblenz, Großostheim

The area is to be reassigned by the Federal Network Agency by the end of the year. The utility industry is thus united against the blue light organizations such as the police, customs, fire and armed forces, which are also supported by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and which also claim to the area.

In total, the four partners cover the energy and water supply on 90 percent of the area of ​​Germany. “We need the frequencies to build a crisis-proof communication platform”said Torsten Maus, Managing Director of Oldenburg EWE Netz: “Securing energy supply is a task that is becoming increasingly complex.”

From the supplier’s point of view, the 450 Mhz radio network is indispensable when it comes to dealing with a large-scale power failure. “Conventional telecommunications networks fail after a few hours without electricity”said Thomas Murche, technical director of the regional supplier WEMAG in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The 450 megahertz radio is “black fall capable”said Murche. “If there is ever a comprehensive blackout, we can quickly start up the power grids again.”

However, the Federal Agency for Digital Radio of the authorities and organizations with security tasks, or BDBOS for short, wants to use the frequencies for other purposes. “Submitting mug shots on the way or being able to query mobile information from various databases makes the work of the police considerably easier.”, Dieter Romann, President of the Federal Police recently put on record: “To do this, our emergency services need their own broadband network, which can only be implemented promptly with the 450 MHz frequencies.”

450 megahertz: arguments of the blue light organizations “not conclusive”

With the frequencies in the 450 MHz spectrum, only data rates of 1 to 5 Mbit / s are achieved. These are regional CDMA networks. The current discussion is about two 4.74 MHz (451.00 – 455.74 MHz / 461.00 – 465.74 MHz) that are to be allocated.

It is not the data rate that is decisive for the energy industry, but rather the physical properties of the 450 MHz radio frequency. For example, the short latency times of the 450 MHz frequency enabled millions of devices from the fields of network technology, smart meter gateways or charging infrastructure to be controlled in real time by machine-to-machine communication with small data volumes.

In addition, in contrast to other frequencies, good building penetration is possible even with thick walls, so that smart meters can be used for the energy revolution.

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