- Thales and Ericsson partner with EDF to bring mobile broadband connectivity to French nuclear sites, both in production and under deconstruction
- With this roll out, EDF is leading the deployment of secure private 4G networks on this scale both in France and internationally
- Successful pilot implementation at the Blayais nuclear site represents the first step in a deployment that will cover all EDF nuclear power plants in France
EDF, Thales and Ericsson have partnered on CONNECT, a project that will bring secure cellular connectivity to all EDF’s nuclear energy sites in France.
Thales, leaders in network design and operation, are deploying secure communications services while also guaranteeing the overall system integration and secure networking.
Ericsson are providing innovative 4G private network solutions as well as the core network, to ensure high-performance connectivity, resilience, and security.
Due to the specific needs of the energy giant, cybersecurity is a key element of the collaboration and has been integrated into every step of deployment
Facilitate the work of the operational teams
The new private network solution will enhance site performance, maintenance, operations, and logistics.
The enhanced connectivity will allow EDF employees and their partners to have a remote access to all needed resources via secure terminals.
The new network infrastructure has been built for EDF, ensuring that the specific needs of the nuclear power provider, such as scalability, flexibility, and cybersecurity are in place. An evolution towards 5G is possible in the long term.
Blayais pilot: start of a national project in France
The first nuclear plant that has benefitted from the CONNECT project is Blayais. After a successful joint pilot, the connectivity solution at the Blayais site is now being operated independently by EDF.
Rollout of the solution at EDF’s other power plants is scheduled for 2021 at a rate of 2 to 4 plants per year.
Bruno Suty, Director of Information Systems and Digital at the EDF Group's Nuclear and Thermal Production Division, said: "The Connect project enables the integration of new use cases linked to the digital transition in our production units, including in the industrial field. The deployment of this secure 4G network really enables us to improve performance and efficiency and will considerably simplify the work of teams in the field. "
Jean-Claude Schmitt, Vice President, Networks and Infrastructure Systems at Thales, says: “Thales is delighted to be able to contribute to France's excellence of EDF thanks to the CONNECT project. With recognized expertise and world-class equipment, Thales combines its know-how with the innovation and performance of the French SMB ecosystem to provide a secure, fully integrated system that meets our customers' specific needs. "
Åsa Tamsons, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Technologies and New Businesses, Ericsson, says: “Critical national infrastructure requires high level performance and trust, so we are very pleased at Ericsson to be working on such an important rollout alongside EDF and Thales. Ericsson’s Private Network solutions are a robust platform that unlock huge benefits for industries with unrivalled security. Our networks allow for a natural upgrade to 5G, so we can keep innovating alongside EDF for tomorrow.”