PEA Lights Up Thailand's Provinces with Smart Grids and Huawei's eLTE Solution
Electricity has become essential to everyday life and daily business operations. A highly reliable electricity supply, therefore, not only promotes the quality of life for individuals but also directly contributes to national socio-economic development.
Established in 1960, Thailand's Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), a state enterprise working under the Ministry of Interior, is responsible for providing high-quality electricity services to more than 20.4 million users across 74 provinces (excluding Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Nonthaburi). Headquartered in Bangkok, the company operates a total of 946 offices across the country to ensure optimal provision, management, and maintenance of the electricity network.
Determined to evolve into a smart utility service provider deploying the latest technologies and innovations, PEA has been actively exploring new opportunities to elevate its operations and services to achieve next-level reliability and efficiency.
The energy industry as a whole is increasingly relying on technology to support future services and expand coverage. PEA is no exception. Over the past few years, the organization has focused on enhancing its operations across the board, including its network infrastructure, communications system, and power-related services, to meet the ever-increasing demand for power. In particular, it has worked to transform its grid — a network of transmission lines, substations, and transformers that generate, transmit, and distribute electricity from power plants to homes and businesses — into a smart one.
To achieve this, the organization realized that it needed to upgrade its wireless communications infrastructure, including the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. In the power industry, SCADA is used to control and monitor power distribution, enabling accurate and rapid fault detection, as well as remote power management and maintenance. With the industry changing rapidly, such SCADA systems, along with other vital operations, must now support wireless broadband connectivity and additional telecommunications solutions.
It was here that PEA hit a roadblock. Its legacy system was not built to support broadband services, making it impossible for the organization to implement the smart solutions that would revolutionize its efficiency.
Based on extensive experience in cutting-edge wireless networking technologies, as well as its thorough understanding of what the power business now needs, Huawei proposed its eLTE Solution for the SCADA system. This all-in-one energy solution offers fast wireless access, low latency, expanded connectivity, and reduced power consumption. Supporting shared-frequency networking, the solution was specifically engineered to overcome the obstacles presented by traditional narrowband solutions, which cannot maximize the use of the entire frequency spectrum.
Now implemented across PEA's offices nationwide, the project was Huawei's first overseas eLTE adaptation outside China, marking a significant milestone for the company. Huawei experts worked closely with PEA to implement this unique technology and ensure that the customized solution meets all on-the-ground needs, not least ultra-fast monitoring and intelligent control services.
Since implementation, PEA has enjoyed significantly smarter operations in terms of speed, capacity, security, and reliability across its services. Indeed, the new system allows PEA to quickly and accurately identify faults and address potential issues — remotely, from anywhere — significantly reducing operation times and maintenance costs over the long term. Such a robust and expandable infrastructure also means that any future applications will be easily implemented, effectively supporting all future needs.