Anterix, Evergy Enter into Agreement for Long-Term Lease of 900 MHz Spectrum
Monday, September 20, 2021 | Comments

Anterix and Evergy signed an agreement to give Evergy the use of Anterix's 900 MHz broadband spectrum throughout Evergy's 28,130-square mile service territory in Kansas and Missouri.

The long-term lease agreement is for 20 years, with two 10-year renewal options. Evergy plans to use the spectrum to deploy a private wireless broadband communications network using LTE technology to support its grid modernization initiatives.

"Evergy is an innovative leader in the utility sector, and we are pleased to welcome them as the third utility in just nine months to sign a contract with Anterix for access to our 900 MHz spectrum for private LTE, joining Ameren and San Diego Gas & Electric," said Anterix President and CEO Rob Schwartz, Anterix's President & CEO. "We're also excited about this relationship because Evergy's service area shares 25 Missouri counties with Ameren's territory, setting the stage for the two utilities to demonstrate the first instance of collaboration towards a 'network of networks' using 900 MHz private LTE."

Under its earlier arrangement with Anterix, Ameren leases the 900 MHz band spectrum throughout its service territory in Illinois and Missouri, including those 25 counties.

When the FCC irealigned 6 megahertz of 900 MHz spectrum for broadband in May 2020, Evergy's LMR system was a significant user of narrowband channels within that block, thus qualifying as a "complex system" under the new rules. That same month, Evergy agreed to exchange spectrum with Anterix, allowing Evergy to move its LMR system to different 900 MHz frequencies outside the broadband allocation, thus freeing the 6 megahertz of broadband spectrum for a potential future LTE system.

"Smart grid technologies have a growing importance for our grid modernization efforts as we continue to transform our operations to a focus on clean, safe and reliable energy,” said Kevin Bryant, executive vice president (EVP) and chief operating officer (COO) at Evergy. “Today's agreement with Anterix provides a key component of the communications foundation required to help advance these initiatives, which are not only important for increased safety and efficiency, but are also crucial to maintain a resilient grid in the future.”

Since its creation from the 2018 merger of local energy providers Westar and Kansas City Power and Light, Evergy has been working to consolidate the operations of the merged utilities to best serve its 1.6 million customers. Its new agreement with Anterix will help achieve that goal, the company said. The private LTE network using Anterix's 900 MHz spectrum will enable a secure broadband communications capability throughout the combined service territory and facilitate the unified adoption of smart grid applications.

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