San Diego Utility Signs $50M Contract with Anterix for Private LTE Spectrum
Monday, February 22, 2021 | Comments

Anterix signed a $50 million contract with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to provide 900 MHz broadband licenses for a private LTE network.

The contract is the second that Anterix signed has signed with a utility to provide spectrum for private LTE. In December, Anterix signed a 30-year contract with Ameren to provide spectrum. The signing of the contracts follows Anterix’s successful petitioning of the FCC to realign the 900 MHz band to allow broadband use.

The agreement with Anterix will support SDG&E’s deployment of a private LTE network to cover its service area across San Diego County, Imperial County and portions of Orange County. Overall, the utility serves about 3.6 million people.

Under the contract, SDG&E will receive broadband licenses covering 6 megahertz of spectrum, 936.5 – 939.5 paired with 897.5 – 900.5 MHz. Anterix will begin delivering the spectrum by county in 2022 and complete delivery by 2023.

“Anterix has been proactively working with incumbents to clear the 900 MHz broadband allocation in SDG&E’s service territory,” a fact sheet on the contract said. Relocating incumbents from realigned broadband spectrum is a requirement of the FCC’s new 900 MHz rules.

SDG&E will make an initial payment of $20 million in February, and the remaining $30 million will be paid throughout 2023 as it receives spectrum.

Anterix and SDG&E also said that they plan to collaborate to accelerate industry momentum for private networks in several areas including support of a technology accelerator focused on grid modernization innovation and wildfire mitigation, support of private LTE systems as a critical component of grid modernization, support for the importance of low-band spectrum as a complement to mid-band spectrum such as Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) in the deployment of wide-area private LTE systems, and support for collective industry action to create utility-specific networking benefits and promote LTE ecosystem expansion through participation in efforts like the Utility Broadband Alliance (UBBA).

In January, SDG&E selected Burns and McDonnell to be the program manager for the implementation of its private LTE network.

“While LTE is a well-known and widely used technology in the consumer space, this network is being designed and implemented to meet the requirements of a mission-critical network,” said Omar Zevallos, manager of network technologies for SDG&E. “This is a cutting-edge project for SDG&E that will provide the connectivity we need to support present and future utility applications.”

Last month, Anterix CEO Rob Schwartz talked to MissionCritical Communications about how private LTE can help meet the challenges caused by grid modernization. Would you like to comment on this story? Find our comments system below.

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