Cleco Taps Nokia to modernize microwave comms for customers in Louisiana, Mississippi


Nokia has been selected by Cleco to modernize its microwave communications network to support approximately 290,000 customers Cleco serves through its retail business and those it supplies wholesale power to in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The new network is based on Nokia’s microwave packet radio technology and its new Microwave Packet Transceiver Plus (MPT-HLC Plus), designed to deliver the reliability and performance needed to support Cleco’s expanding capacity needs, while providing the scalability and flexibility to enable it to introduce new services in the future.

Nokia was selected to provide the backhaul of Cleco’s digital mobile radio system that is critical to the safety of its customers and more than 1,300 employees. By moving to an all packet-based architecture, Cleco is also able to increase its operational efficiency.

For the project, Nokia is replacing Cleco’s legacy hybrid radio equipment with its Wavence(TM) microwave packet radio portfolio, the latest in microwave packet radio technology and the leading ‘pure packet’ product portfolio on the market. Nokia Wavence was developed with mission-critical stringent requirements for security, reliability, latency and resiliency in mind.

The portfolio incorporates features specifically designed to address the unique needs of Cleco, smoothing its transition from older time division multiplexing (TDM) technology to more advanced Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks.

The high system gain provided by Nokia Wavence will enable Cleco to expand its capacity in support of new IP-based applications without requiring a new antenna infrastructure and without forcing a disruption of existing communications, thus reducing costs and facilitating a seamless, incremental migration from TDM to IP.

Nokia’s Microwave Packet Transceiver Plus (MPT-HLC Plus) provides increased capacity utilizing industry leading 4096 QAM and up to 7.5 dB more in system gain. Higher system gain can reduce the size of antennas required, lessen tower loading and extend the path distance, eliminating expensive repeater sites or just improving the availability of existing paths.

Robert Mathews, Manager of Telecommunication Services, Cleco, said: “Cleco’s selection of Nokia was based on Nokia’s commitment to the microwave business, the advanced packet capabilities over legacy hybrid radio architectures and a single network mangement system for the microwave, router and optical transport products. Nokia’s Network Services Platform brings network management under one umbrella, simplifying Cleco’s provisioning and troubleshooting processes across our IP/MPLS and microwave networks, as well as helping us ensure reliable communications to support our customers and employees.”

Chris Kent, Area Vice President, U.S. Energy & Transportation, Nokia, said: “Nokia understands the needs of mission-critical communication businesses like Cleco, and has dedicated a great deal of effort to ensuring that our packet microwave technology can meet the requirements today, while preparing networks for the introduction of even more advanced technologies in the future.”

Telecomdrive Bureau
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