Overview EUTC Working Groups
The goal of all EUTC Working Groups is generating more relevant content and developing common positions among EUTC members to be used for external communication. At the moment, EUTC has 6 active Working Groups (WG) on:
- Collaboration between telecom and utility
- Cyber Security
- The impact of Big Data on our telecommunications networks
- New Business Models for telecommunications deployment
- KPI’s -Definition of Smart Grid Requirements
Should you have any questions regarding the EUTC Working Groups, please do not hesitate to contact Stefan Gielis at firstname.lastname@example.org
This working group will produce, and propose to the EUTC board, position papers and other valuable documents and organise workshops to get telecommunications providers and the European Commission, when appropriate, more aligned with the utilities’ requirements. Indeed, the general objective of this Working Group is to enhance and facilitate the collaboration between telcos and utilities and thus to explain the mutual benefit for this collaboration. Moreover, the specific 5G requirements on the supporting communication solutions going beyond what can be provided by current generic telecoms’ solutions will be an important issue to address.
Cybersecurity is a growing area of concern for utilities but there is an uneven degree of awareness and maturity of cybersecurity programs among European utility companies. The ever increasing “digitisation” of the grid and with the attendant sophistication and complexity throughout Europe, addressing the risk of cybersecurity breaches and cyber-caused blackouts is of paramount importance for utilities.
Hence, it is of key importance that the utility sector cooperates to improve the cybersecurity and resilience of the grid and has its voice heard in this debate at National and European level. This Group serves as a forum for information-sharing and the development of common positions between EUTC’s members on cybersecurity regulation and challenges.
The Cybersecurity Working Group also collaborates with cybersecurity groups in the other UTC regions: North America, Africa, and Latin America. Cybersecurity issues span geographies without regard to jurisdictions. Therefore, knowledge sharing among regions is helpful to reduce utilities’ time to become aware of and resolve cybersecurity issues.
The goal of the WG is to prepare output based on following questions:
- What does big data (analytics) mean for utilities in Europe?
- Which are the areas of application for utilities with regards to big data and what is their potential?
- Should utilities operate alone or in cooperation with telcos?
- What would an ideal business case look like?
- What would utilities need to change in the European framework?
- What does a public-private-partnership mean for utilities? How would we cooperate with the IT branches?
- What role can EUTC play vis-à-vis the European Commission?
If the energy sector is to increase investments and initiatives in relation to big data, it will need to have a clear understanding of where its long-term value lies by carrying out pilot projects and finding solutions to existing obstacles, such as unbundling, data protection or critical infrastructure (in particular legacy data and making it discoverable, useful and usable). Data in itself is not usable – verifiable and discoverable, it needs to be converted into “content” and “actionable intelligence” – something utilities need to embrace.
The objective of the Working Group on New Business models is to explore and summarize different models for organizing telecommunication activities within utilities. The input is based on various experiences of EUTC Members with different models for organizing their telecom activities. As result the Working Group can show, explain and clarify to fellow utilities that different business models are available for telecommunication activities within utilities. Simultaneously such an overview of different models provides external players with a better understanding where they can provide assistance and/or input (Telco’s) or why a utility has chosen a certain set-up (regulators, governments) .This is especially relevant in the light of the growing importance of telecommunications for utilities. Since utilities are trying to find new, alternative and more suitable ways in collaborating and obtaining the telecommunications products they need. Given the number of variables the outcome is likely to be different from the classical business models, i.e. full in-house telecom provision or full external service provided by provider. New demands, strategies and developments as well as the objectives, resources and national circumstances influence the outcome.
Electricity networks across Europe are ageing and a good part of them will need to be modernized or replaced in the decades to come. To overcome this challenge, the European Commission considers smart grids as the backbone of future decarbonized energy power systems and for reaching all the fundamental objectives of EU energy policy (sustainability, security and competitiveness) as well as the creation of the energy single market.
Against that background, it is of key importance that the utility sector have their voiced heard in this debate. Therefore, the EUTC WG on ‘Smart Grid Requirements – KPIs’ had been kicked-off in December 2017.
In the Spectrum Working Group, representatives share their expert knowledge of developments in utility telecoms, and discuss work items raised by members. Currently the group is active in areas including:
- Development of White Papers to explain why utilities need telecommunications facilities.
- Where those telecoms are best provided by private radio systems, the associated spectrum requirements to deliver those services.
- Researching and constructing metrics to support the spectrum requirements of utilities.
- Representing EUTC Members’ interests at workshops and seminars organized by the European Commission, European Parliament, CEPT (Committee of European Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) and associated CEPT Working Groups and associated regulatory bodies.
- Developing policy papers and responses to national, European and International consultations affecting spectrum used by utilities in their operations.
- Developing Technical Reports and Systems Reference Documents for the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI); plus liaison with the 3GPP Standards bodies where appropriate.
- Speaking and Chairing sessions at international conferences to promote the objectives of the EUTC, especially the spectrum group.
- Co-ordinating engagement by EUTC members to leverage their participation in international forums.
- Liaison with other representative bodies where it advances the objectives of EUTC, notably the Tetra and Critical Communications Association (TCCA), the 450 MHz Alliance and GEODE who represent the smaller local energy distributors in Europe.
- Protecting and securing use of existing spectrum used by utilities where it is under threat from other actual or potential spectrum users.
The Spectrum Group is now extending its work into the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its Study Groups in order to focus attention on the needs of Utility Operations for recognized spectrum access.
Although the primary focus of the spectrum groups is securing access to dedicated spectrum for utilities, it is also active in understanding issues associated with use of licence-exempt spectrum (more commonly known as ‘unlicensed spectrum’ or Short Range Devices –SRDs); and in addition understanding operational issues in relations to commercial mobile telecoms networks.