Nokia to supply network technology for LTE450 critical infrastructure network in Germany

Nokia announced it has signed a contract with 450connect, a joint venture backed by German companies from the energy and water sectors, to build its nationwide LTE450 radio network.

The deal will cover the supply of radio system technology for the 450 MHz network, including the central technology, radio stations, microwave radio links for the backhaul network, and power back-up systems. Nokia will manage the supply and performance of all LTE components, including maintenance services, until 2040, Nokia advised.

In March 2021, 450connect was awarded the 450 MHz frequencies until 2040 by the Federal Network Agency. With 450connect’s new nationwide, highly-available and secure LTE450 radio network, operators of critical infrastructures will receive the platform they need to digitalise their infrastructure, implement the energy transition to decarbonisation, and further secure the energy supply, the company says.

Nokia says its LTE450 technology is ideally suited to achieve wide-area coverage and operate services such as voice and machine-to-machine communications (M2M) or Internet-of-Things applications for critical infrastructure. This industrial-grade private LTE / LTE-M solution is optimized for M2M applications and critical voice communications.

450connect CEO Carsten Ullrich says, “In view of the major challenges involved in setting up the 450 MHz platform, we are pleased to have Nokia as a strong and capable partner at our side for the long-term, with whom we can meet the high technical requirements of our customers as operators of critical infrastructures.”

Nokia Enterprise vice president Central and East Europe Dirk Lewandowski said, “The task of digitalisation of Germany’s critical infrastructure is of enormous strategic importance.

“Nok can make an important contribution to this country’s energy supply with our industrial-grade 450MHz private LTE network, especially considering the challenges posed by the energy to decarbonization and decentralization. We look forward to a trusting and close cooperation with 450connect on This is a long-term and important project for the Federal Republic of Germany.”

Due to the high demand for highly available and resilient communications, both parties said they have agreed to a rapid implementation of the radio network.

Initial end-to-end tests will take place in the field by mid-2022 to ensure performance for the upcoming rollout. Radio services will be offered in the first regions of Germany in 2023. The nationwide rollout will take place by 2025.

The Nokia solution includes geo-redundant LTE cores, RAN network, Nokia Wavence microwave radio backhaul, management solution and installation, commissioning, integration, training and support services. In addition, 20 years of lifecycle network management of this critical network will be provided by Nokia.

Deploying this type of network at 450MHz will result in a significantly reduced number of cells compared to higher frequency bands.

The amount of spectrum usually available at 450MHz is reduced, so it isn’t ideal for applications that have heavy demand for capacity. Applications where the demand can be well planned and not significantly variable in a network that can result quickly to generate prompt business improvement. Applications such as smart metering and critical infrastructure monitoring are well suited to the limited capacity these systems provide.

In the early 2000’s I submitted a paper to a House of Representative Committee on rural broadband proposing the use of 450MHz in low density rural areas as a broadband wireless access solution. At the time such a system would have been a viable alternative to satellite solutions, in a time when the main applications were email and web browsing. Now 20+ years such a system even if upgarded to 5G would not have the capacity to meet consumer demand.


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