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Field Area Network for Power Utilities

Utilities need to extend the reach of communications deep into the distribution grid to enable distribution automation, substation automation, distributed generation, advanced metering infrastructure and platform for new business models.

Nokia offers the flexibility to choose from a broad spectrum of technologies, including LTE, DSL and FTTx. Nokia has the experience to integrate the technology that best meets the utility’s business drivers, and can ensure that the FAN interoperates seamlessly with Wide Area Networks (WAN), Local Area Networks (LAN) and Neighborhood Area Networks (NAN) to serve varying applications with differing requirements. Combined with Nokia's award winning IP/MPLS and industry-leading microwave and fiber optic data backhaul solutions, it achieves highly reliable, highly secure, ubiquitous and cost-effective end-to-end smart grid communications for distribution automation, substation automation, distributed generation and advanced metering infrastructure. It also provides the required communications foundation for a utility to deploy their Internet of Things (IoT) strategy.


Nokia’s Field Area Network solution for power utilities are customized to suit specific business needs. This reliable, secure and scalable solution includes:

  • LTE: Nokia is the leader in bringing Long-Term Evolution (LTE) to the utility industry. LTE is the natural evolution of cellular and WiMAX technologies. It provides robust and highly scalable broadband connectivity for both fixed and mobile applications that allow the utility to converge its mobile data needs to a single network technology.

    The Nokia 7705 Service Aggregation Router–Hm (SAR-Hm) extends IP/MPLS services over LTE. With it, utilities are able to support field device communications wirelessly using IP/MPLS services in the FAN. It also enables end-to-end, seamless, IP/MPLS services between the FAN and the WAN.
  • Copper and fiber access: Nokia Fiber to the “x” and DSL solutions provide wired alternatives for FANs.

Professional Services

Nokia provides consulting, solution deployment and integration services:

  • To help utilities select the right FAN technology
  • To deploy multiple technologies and multiple vendor products
  • To ensure interoperability of different network segments and technologies

This reduces the utility’s risk during project implementation and protects their investment in Smart Grid.

Distribution automation with private LTE network use case
Nokia Converged Field Area Network (FAN)
White paper: Rethinking the FAN for grid automation


“Nokia’s addition of secure LTE and WiFi wireless connectivity into their existing 7705 Service Router product line dramatically increases the ability to integrate and centralize management of our end-to-end service connectivity for utility operations to meet our mission critical requirements.”
-John Hughes, Director, Network Engineering and Operations, Ameren Services

“Adding LTE and other wireless capabilities to the proven 7705 platform provides compelling new choices for utilities looking to extend the reach of their connectivity to modernize grid operations.”
-Melvin Sam Charuvilayil, Supervisor, IT Network Planning & Engineering, Kansas City Power and Light

“A holistic, network-centric strategy will benefit utilities which recognize how the industry is changing. A converged FAN approach leveraging IP/MPLS and LTE offers a future-proof, ubiquitous network with the capacity to handle new energy services, transactive energy models, DER integration and better customer engagement—in addition to more traditional smart grid and smart city applications. As described in our white paper, Communications in the Energy Cloud, Navigant Research has dubbed this holistic networking strategy the ‘Energy Superhighway.’”
-Richelle Elberg, Principal Analyst, Energy, at Navigant Research


Reduce outages and manage power quality

  • Enable real-time monitoring of grid power delivery and quality with real-time response by implementing highly reliable two-way communications
  • Granular visibility and control of energy flow and quality in distribution grid
  • Rapid notification and informed response to outages

Reduce operational expenses

  • Remote monitoring of asset performance and operation for improved predictive maintenance, efficient dispatch of repair technicians and more accurate end-of-life calculations
  • Detect and manage both network and non-technical losses
  • Homogeneous solution that integrates distribution automation, substation automation and AMI over a common FAN

Incorporate renewable energy

  • Monitor and control renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines
  • Incorporate new energy sources while maintaining power quality and stability

Mitigate security risks

  • Encryption keeps data secure, and prevents sensitive information being accessible by unauthorized parties
  • Strong authentication keeps rogue devices and users off the network
  • Firewalls control access