Ameren Signs LOI to Lease 900 MHz Broadband Spectrum from Anterix
Wednesday, April 08, 2020 | Comments

Anterix signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Ameren for a long-term lease of 900 MHz broadband spectrum to enable the utility to deploy a private Long Term Evolution (LTE) network that will provide critical communications services for its service territories in Missouri and Illinois.

After a request from Anterix, the FCC last year proposed rules suggesting a 900 MHz realignment to create broadband licenses and move incumbent narrowband licensees to other spectrum within the band. Many entities have provided input to the FCC, which has not yet finalized its proposed rules.

Ameren has successfully piloted a private LTE network in support of its Smart Energy Plan, which includes investments to strengthen the grid while providing clean and reliable energy. The pilot demonstrated 14 different use cases leveraging Anterix's spectrum under an FCC experimental license.

“By securing access to Anterix's low-band 900 MHz spectrum, which would be enabled through the FCC's proposed rulemaking, we believe Ameren will be well positioned to execute on its long-term private LTE network plans, strengthening its ability to provide affordable, reliable and safe electricity for its customers in both good and bad situations,” an Anterix statement said.

"Ameren has been leading the industry in evaluating and piloting 900 MHz broadband solutions, and its success with solving key use cases has demonstrated real-world benefits that can enable Ameren to modernize its electric grid for generations to come," said Anterix President Rob Schwartz. "Ameren's LOI represents a critical step in solving the unique private broadband needs of utilities, paving the way for the adoption of utility private LTE networks to enable secure, reliable and resilient communication networks across the nation."

"To enable the grid of the future, the system requires a smarter, stronger and more secure communications network with far greater bandwidth," said Bhavani Amirthalingam, senior vice president and chief digital information officer for Ameren. "Ameren envisions a future where broadband plays a key role in the control and management of our network, providing enhanced communication with coworkers, resulting in a better experience for our customers. Ameren intends to use a private LTE network for a wide range of applications slated to expand over time."

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