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Utilities & Infrastructure : Telecom Networks News

£43m contract to give rural firms access to full fibre broadband

£43m contract to give rural firms access to full fibre broadband

A £43m contract has been awarded to extend full fibre broadband access to thousands of rural homes and businesses in Cheshire. Freedom Fibre has secured the contract as part of the government’s Project Gigabit initiative. As a result, 15,000 hard-to-reach homes and businesses will gain access to broadband capable of

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Pulse Fibre transforms Vertus Buildings with Lightning-Fast Connectivity

Pulse Fibre transforms Vertus Buildings with Lightning-Fast Connectivity

As fast and reliable internet connectivity becomes increasingly crucial, Pulse Fibre is proud to showcase its recent introduction of full-fibre internet in three award-winning Vertus residential developments in London: Newfoundland, 10 George Street, and 8 Water Street. The projects showcase the unparalleled benefits developers can enjoy with Pulse Fibre. The

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Prysmian’s Sirocco Cables expected lifetime greater than 50 years

Prysmian’s Sirocco Cables expected lifetime greater than 50 years

This result contributes to promoting a more sustainable approach to resource management Prysmian, leader in the energy transition and digital transformation, announces results of new and rigorous long-term ageing testing on the Sirocco family of cables, proving expected lifetime of more than 50 years, allowing operators to calculate the life

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SteelTrace secures project with Subsea7, marking a milestone as its first pipeline project in the North Sea

SteelTrace secures project with Subsea7, marking a milestone as its first pipeline project in the North Sea

SteelTrace, is pleased to announce a significant achievement in collaboration with Subsea7. This partnership marks a milestone as SteelTrace embarks on its first pipeline project in the North Sea, reinforcing its commitment to increasing efficiency and quality standards while meeting the digital needs of the operator. SteelTrace is a pioneering

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Complete Fibre, Orbit Group and Lightning Fibre rollout new ‘plug and play’ full-fibre offer for residents across South East

Complete Fibre, Orbit Group and Lightning Fibre rollout new ‘plug and play’ full-fibre offer for residents across South East

Full-fibre infrastructure specialist Complete Fibre and leading UK housing group Orbit are collaborating to rollout safe, hyper-reliable, hyper-fast broadband in blocks of flats across the South East. Complete Fibre will manage access to the buildings as well as installing a single, open-access ‘plug-and-play’ digital infrastructure within Orbit’s blocks of flats (also

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Metamaterials’ Potential in mmWave 5G Telecommunications and Beyond

Metamaterials’ Potential in mmWave 5G Telecommunications and Beyond

Having been largely confined to the realm of academia for many years, metamaterials are now set for commercialization in several major applications. The IDTechEx report, “Metamaterials Markets 2023-2043: Optical and Radio-Frequency”, explores the opportunities within this emerging materials technology. A particularly significant emergent application of electromagnetic metamaterials is in supporting

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Enel to Provide Reliable and Sustainable Electricity Across its Networks

Enel to Provide Reliable and Sustainable Electricity Across its Networks

Enel Global Infrastructure & Networks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide reliable and sustainable power across its networks in Italy and Spain thanks to the installation of ABB’s innovative SF6-free Ring Main Units (RMUs), specifically designed for Enel’s requirements. The project represents an important step towards delivering increasingly sustainable

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

Utilities & Infrastructure : Telecom Networks News

£43m contract to give rural firms access to full fibre broadband

£43m contract to give rural firms access to full fibre broadband

A £43m contract has been awarded to extend full fibre broadband access to thousands of rural homes and businesses in Cheshire. Freedom Fibre has secured the contract as part of the government’s Project Gigabit initiative. As a result, 15,000 hard-to-reach homes and businesses will gain access to broadband capable of delivering the fastest speeds on the market. Project Gigabit is a £5bn nationwide rollout aimed at areas that would have been overlooked in the industry’s rollout of gigabit-capable broadband. Freedom Fibre will begin with a period of detailed design and survey work, with construction expected to start in early 2025. The project will cover remote villages such as Kingswood, Allostock, and Minshull Vernon. Neil McArthur, founder and chief executive of Freedom Fibre, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this contract, increasing full-fibre coverage across Cheshire and further strengthening our relationship with Building Digital UK and local authorities across the county. This investment in full-fibre will end over 100 years of copper-based services and unleash untold potential for homes and businesses across Cheshire.” Julia Lopez, minister for data and digital infrastructure, added: “Homes and businesses in rural Cheshire not covered by broadband suppliers’ plans will get access to the fastest internet speeds available, thanks to this latest contract under the government’s Project Gigabit. This government’s investment in lightning-fast upgrades will benefit hard-to-reach communities all over the county, boosting productivity in local industries and helping households to stream, work, and play without a hitch.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Pulse Fibre transforms Vertus Buildings with Lightning-Fast Connectivity

Pulse Fibre transforms Vertus Buildings with Lightning-Fast Connectivity

As fast and reliable internet connectivity becomes increasingly crucial, Pulse Fibre is proud to showcase its recent introduction of full-fibre internet in three award-winning Vertus residential developments in London: Newfoundland, 10 George Street, and 8 Water Street. The projects showcase the unparalleled benefits developers can enjoy with Pulse Fibre. The goal was to provide the 1,139 residents of the developments with faster and a more reliable internet service, by introducing Gigabit specification full-fibre. The residents at 8 Water Street had been experiencing connectivity outages for four days from a previous fibre supplier with no resolution in sight. Pulse Fibre recognised the urgency of the situation and were on hand straight away to provide a solution. Pulse Fibre was able to be on site and work to reconnect residents the very next day after being made aware of the residents’ outage frustrations. The partnership then continued with the rapid installation at 10 George Street, before moving on to Newfoundland. Instant activation removed any further downtime or waiting, providing residents with immediate access to the high-speed, reliable internet required. Vertus building managers also benefit from access to Pulse Fibre’s Portal, a digital platform that allows Vertus to efficiently and effectively manage connections for residents. Functions such as providing instant activation for upcoming tenants, and deactivating connections once a resident has moved out, providing building managers with the necessary level of control and oversight to manage properties successfully. Reece Dopson at Pulse Fibre commented on the project: “Vertus is a shining example of what Pulse Fibre can offer customers and developers alike. Robert Buckingham at Pulse Fibre commented on the project: Working closely with the Vertus management team has been a privilege. Together, we achieved more than just meeting the project goals, we exceeded them, and we remain committed to providing reliable and lightning-fast internet.” The developments at Vertus exemplifies Pulse Fibre’s unwavering commitment to delivering an exceptional service and it looks forward to continuing to provide reliable, lightning-fast internet solutions. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Prysmian’s Sirocco Cables expected lifetime greater than 50 years

Prysmian’s Sirocco Cables expected lifetime greater than 50 years

This result contributes to promoting a more sustainable approach to resource management Prysmian, leader in the energy transition and digital transformation, announces results of new and rigorous long-term ageing testing on the Sirocco family of cables, proving expected lifetime of more than 50 years, allowing operators to calculate the life cycle analysis of their networks over an extended period. Optical cables have now been deployed for decades, with fibre and cable technology continually evolving, and telecom networks are expected to be robust to environmental stresses over a lifetime of many decades with protection provided to the optical fibres at the heart of the network reliability. Besides providing mechanical protection, the optical coatings and cable materials must themselves remain stable across the cable’s deployment lifetime, whatever the environmental conditions. As part of the continuing industry leadership in cable design and reliability, Prysmian has performed long-term aging and lifetime certification of SiroccoHD and SiroccoEXTREME microduct cables and the fibres contained therein in order to simulate a cable lifetime of at least 50 years under dry and wet aging conditions. The data demonstrates that after lifetime simulation, optical fibre attenuation as well as cable performance and material properties remain unchanged and can meet industry specifications set for newly manufactured cables. “Prysmian’s Sirocco HD and Extreme cables are already well known as highly sustainable and extremely efficient solutions. Due to their extra-compact size and extreme fibre density, they’re easily deployable, make the most of limited duct space, require fewer raw materials and reduce transportation costs.” states Ian Griffiths, Global R&D VP, Digital Solutions at Prysmian. “Now, after optimisation of the optical fibre and materials, and rigorous testing, Sirocco cables have an expected lifetime of more than 50 years, without any compromise on performance during that time.” “With the completion of this testing, it is now possible for operators to calculate the lifecycle analysis of their networks over a much longer period of time – more than 50 years.” adds Frederick Persson, Executive Vice President Digital Solutions at Prysmian. “This contributes to minimizing waste and promoting a more sustainable approach to resource management, and will be critical for creating the long-lasting, high-performing networks of the future.” To access the white paper and test report click on this link. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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SteelTrace secures project with Subsea7, marking a milestone as its first pipeline project in the North Sea

SteelTrace secures project with Subsea7, marking a milestone as its first pipeline project in the North Sea

SteelTrace, is pleased to announce a significant achievement in collaboration with Subsea7. This partnership marks a milestone as SteelTrace embarks on its first pipeline project in the North Sea, reinforcing its commitment to increasing efficiency and quality standards while meeting the digital needs of the operator. SteelTrace is a pioneering quality management automation platform that revolutionises transparency, traceability, and efficiency in the steel supply chain. Focusing its efforts in the chemical and petrochemical industry using  state-of-the-art technologies including blockchain and cloud computing to seamlessly integrate quality management throughout the entire steel supply chain – from cradle to grave. By offering an end-to-end solution that ensures transparency and accuracy, SteelTrace enables manufacturers, suppliers, and stakeholders to maintain complete confidence in the quality of steel products needed for demanding applications in the oil and gas industry. Testament to its relationship with Subsea7, this is the second project the companies have collaborated on. This collaboration will see SteelTrace capturing vital structured data from manufacturers and automatically cross-referencing it against project requirements. This advanced functionality eliminates the need for any manual reviews, streamlining the process and reducing the possibility of human errors. Converting this data into a digital manufacturing record book, promises increased efficiency and a streamlined workflow. Ultimately benefiting the entire supply chain including the operator, who can use the collected data for the life extension studies, root cause analyses and turnaround simulations. In these challenging sea environments, steel pipes must be able to withstand harsh conditions and stringent safety standards. The complexities of seabed dynamics and the need for precise welding require an increased level of quality control and precision. SteelTrace’s comprehensive data capture ensures that all crucial information is meticulously recorded, eliminating the need for time-consuming manual data review, and providing the industry with a reliable and efficient alternative. SteelTrace’s CEO and Founder, Tom Meulendijks, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “As SteelTrace continues to push the boundaries of quality assurance and digital transformation within the steel industry, we are excited to secure our second project with Subsea7. Since our establishment in 2017, SteelTrace has developed a global client portfolio spanning Europe, the US, South East Asia, and upcoming ventures extending to Australia.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Connexin Races Ahead as UK's Leading LoRaWAN Infrastructure Provider as Network Passes 4.8 Million Homes

Connexin Races Ahead as UK’s Leading LoRaWAN Infrastructure Provider as Network Passes 4.8 Million Homes

UK-based smart technology and digital specialist Connexin is making huge strides in becoming the leading provider of LoRaWAN® infrastructure in the UK, announcing that its Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) now reaches 4.8 million homes. A significant milestone in the company’s mission to ‘Connect the real world with the digital world to improve the way we live’. Connexin’s industry leading LoRaWAN is a low powered, wide-area network designed to seamlessly connect Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors over long distances while consuming minimal energy. The network is live and passes over 4.8 million homes. Making a splash in the utilities landscape, Connexin is set to expand the network even further with plans to connect an additional 400,000 IoT sensors to make UK water smarter.   Connexin’s impressive track record of deploying large-scale LoRaWAN infrastructure for smart water metering really demonstrates its expertise in the sector, alongside successful partnerships with industry leaders such as Severn Trent Water and Yorkshire Water.  By revolutionising the smart water network, water utility companies can now give people a crystal-clear view of their water consumption patterns through real-time insights on water usage, swiftly spot leaks and burst pipes, and ultimately reduce water loss. This brings enormous benefits to the environment. By cutting down on water waste through smart metering and improved management, Connexin is helping to reduce energy consumption linked to water treatment and distribution, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions for the nation. Dan Preece, Vice President of IoT at Connexin explains: “Our growth in the IoT and digital infrastructure space over the past year has been off the charts. We continue to invest significant resources into boosting our LoRaWAN infrastructure, ensuring top-notch coverage and rock-solid reliability to cater to the ever-expanding needs of the many businesses and communities embracing IoT applications.” Connexin’s growth in building smarter cities and places has been accelerated with an £80m investment from PATRIZIA; one of the world’s largest independent infrastructure funds. Phoebe Smith, Senior Director at PATRIZIA Infrastructure, said: “PATRIZIA is proud to support Connexin’s growth journey in the UK digital infrastructure space. During a time when sustainability and reducing unnecessary impact on the planet are more important than ever, we are excited to partner with such an innovative and forward-thinking company.” LoRaWAN® technology is a game-changer for the environment and supports a vast array of applications that touch nearly every aspect of day-to-day life. With the deployment of LoRaWAN-enabled sensors, service providers such as water utility companies and local authorities can keep a vigilant eye on their surroundings. From continuously monitoring elements such as temperature, humidity, water patterns and air quality to maintaining comfortable living spaces can all be achieved to ensure good health. The versatility and connectivity of LoRaWAN make cities and communities smarter, paving the way for a healthier and more sustainable future for everyone.

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Complete Fibre, Orbit Group and Lightning Fibre rollout new ‘plug and play’ full-fibre offer for residents across South East

Complete Fibre, Orbit Group and Lightning Fibre rollout new ‘plug and play’ full-fibre offer for residents across South East

Full-fibre infrastructure specialist Complete Fibre and leading UK housing group Orbit are collaborating to rollout safe, hyper-reliable, hyper-fast broadband in blocks of flats across the South East. Complete Fibre will manage access to the buildings as well as installing a single, open-access ‘plug-and-play’ digital infrastructure within Orbit’s blocks of flats (also known as Multi Dwelling Units, or MDUs) which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can connect into, to provide full-fibre to residents. Lightning Fibre is the first ISP to plug into Complete Fibre’s infrastructure in Orbit buildings to provide residents safe, ultra-fast fibre broadband and boost digital inclusivity in the region. Multiple ISPs can connect into Complete Fibre’s plug-and-play solution, offering Orbit’s residents more choice when selecting full-fibre packages. Eddie Minshull, CEO of Complete Fibre, explained: “We’re the bridge between landlords and telecommunications providers. By installing one plug-and-play solution, ISPs can deliver their services via existing infrastructure rather than each company needing to install its own network. “We’re delighted that Lightning Fibre are working with us to offer Full Fibre for residents in the South East. Together, we can meet stringent safety standards, reduce disruption of multiple installations for residents and reduce the carbon footprint for fibre infrastructure builds by up to 75%*.    “Amid a race to lay fibre infrastructure to hit the government’s target of at least 85% gigabit coverage by 2025, this innovative approach, developed with support from Trenches Law, eliminates the need for statutory intervention in the market. It empowers landlords to manage digital connectivity with a strategic and planned approach and meets the needs of residents, developers, and ISPs. Orbit is one of the largest housing groups in the UK, has a growing portfolio of over 46,500 homes spanning the Midlands, East and South.  Tony Clark, Director of Property Operations at Orbit, said: “In addition to providing quality, safe, and affordable homes, we’re committed to offering wider support to help our customers in their day-to-day lives. Working with Complete Fibre to offer our customers access to reliable, ultra-fast digital connectivity is just one of the ways in which we can help to support them in their work and education, as well as provide them with easier access to community and online services.” Tim Passingham, Chairman of Lightning Fibre, added: “We’re committed to driving digital inclusion and bringing hyper fast broadband to communities in the South East. Utilising Complete Fibre, we’re able to give Orbit and their residents access to a choice of providers, and for our part, we’ll do so with a fair pricing model and a keen focus on customer care. This way of working also contributes to Lightning’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions – fewer installations mean less material and more efficient energy usage.”  *Compared to four telecoms companies installing fibre infrastructure in one building.   Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals 

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Colt successfully completes the deployment of fibre network infrastructure along the Channel Tunnel

Colt successfully completes the deployment of fibre network infrastructure along the Channel Tunnel

The new fibre-optic cable deployed along the Tunnel provides access to the highest number of data centres fibre-connected between the UK and mainland Europe Colt Technology Services (Colt), the digital infrastructure company, today announced the successful completion of the deployment of a new dark fibre (G.652D/G.657) cable along the Channel Tunnel connecting London (UK) to Paris (France).  Colt’s new fibre network will provide businesses and organisations with faster, more reliable, and uninterrupted data connectivity across borders. It will also support the growing demand for cloud computing and other digital services in both London and Paris, with a seamless end-to-end SLA. Responsible for the day-to-day operations of all new cables installed in the Channel Tunnel, Colt boasts a transfer rate of several Tbps per fibre pair with the new infrastructure. With this evolution of the infrastructure, customers will have access to their 100Gbps/400Gbps Colt IQ Network, supported by reliable low latency, high-bandwidth connectivity and service guarantees through the tunnel. The tunnel offers the best path to close a key network loop that runs between London, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. In accordance with the Channel Tunnel’s safety and security regulations, all connectivity services will be highly secure. They will offer significantly more capacity than subsea cables and will be placed in a highly protected environment that is not vulnerable to piracy, ship anchors, commercial fishing, or shipping. The tunnel has had no accidents since its installation in 1994. “We are pleased to announce the successful completion of the next step in this important project,” said Herve Jost, Director of Eurotunnel/Getlink Connectivity Solutions, Colt Technology Services. “Approximately 80% of the internet traffic which runs between the UK and mainland Europetoday travels through the Channel Tunnel. It is crucial to increase the bandwidth, enhance performance, bolster reliability, and fortify the security of our network. This is vital to ensure a continuous and uninterrupted flow of data, specifically to address peak demand and new bandwidth needs within the Channel Tunnel, driven by new technologies such as AI and Metaverse. Our new fibre cable in the Tunnel will transform the subterranean rail link between the UK and mainland Europe into a major data route to support the anticipated growth in traffic over the coming years.” In September 2021, Colt and Getlink signed a 25-year exclusive ‘concession’ contract to install and operate a new fiber optic network spanning the Channel Tunnel, using the latest connectivity technology to establish seamless connectivity between the UK and mainland Europe. This 25-year agreement is bringing new dark fiber and data services to the Channel Tunnel for the first time in a generation.  Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals 

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Keeping construction connected - 5G-powered routers for connectivity anywhere, anytime

Keeping construction connected – 5G-powered routers for connectivity anywhere, anytime

Whether it’s viewing architectural plans or enabling Internet of Things (IoT) devices, access to a reliable, high-speed internet connection is increasingly becoming a priority on construction sites. But with scope and timescales often varying so much between projects, is there such thing as a one-size-fits-all for internet connectivity? Here, Kristian Torode, director and co-founder of business IT provider Crystaline, investigates. Construction workers are increasingly finding themselves in need of a faster, more reliable internet connection. Whether it’s accessing architectural plans or 3D CAD diagrams, the ability to share, edit and download large files is becoming more and more essential to the daily operation of sites. This need is exacerbated further in larger developments, where multiple teams across the site need to be able to communicate with one another. Internet access can also facilitate the implementation of IoT technologies, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM uses a host of cameras and sensors on-site to create a digital model of the project as construction work goes on, allowing for architects and engineers to validate the structure’s integrity throughout. As a result, minor errors or faults can be spotted much more quickly, preventing long project delays. Security is another area that can benefit, with remote CCTV monitoring and the ability to set up more sophisticated locking systems at gates and barriers. Using personal devices But how can construction sites get online? The first, and perhaps easiest option, is to rely on workers to use their own personal devices to access the internet. And for quick access to one or two individual files, such an approach might be sufficient. But problems can quickly arise as soon as there’s a need to do more. Workers may not have sufficient data plans to access everything they need, for example. This can be alleviated in part by using devices to ‘tether’ to one another and sharing data that way, but it often results in slow speeds for the user and is unlikely to be able to support more than one or two devices at a time. And for businesses who are paying for company plans, it might be that the cost of multiple unlimited data plans quickly starts to add up. Fixed broadband So, what about installing a broadband line? For long-term projects lasting several years, in areas already with access to ultrafast broadband, this might be the most appropriate solution. But often, projects must work on a shorter timeframe. With most broadband contracts locking customers in for 12 or 24-month periods, it often isn’t financially viable for workers who may only be on-site for half that time, for example. And with the time it takes to lay a new fixed line varying from weeks to months, particularly in remote areas or those with more challenging terrain, it could result in a significant and crucial part of the project not having the connectivity required. With the upcoming PSTN and ADSL broadband stop sells in September 2023, setting up new connections on these old lines will no longer be possible, presenting an additional challenge to construction companies looking to get their sites online. Rolling out 5G routers Rather than relying on personal device usage or long-term broadband plans, a 5G router could provide the ideal solution. 5G routers provide connectivity via mobile network connections rather than on fixed broadband lines, meaning they can be plugged in anywhere to provide connectivity within minutes. With 5G up to ten times faster than 4G, and just a fraction of the latency, a 5G router offers enough speed and bandwidth for multiple workers to access any file they might need or hold video meetings with other colleagues. Crystaline offers TCL’s LinkHub 5G HH515 router which can support up to 256 connections alone. Capable of delivering speeds up to 4.67 Gpbs, it’s on par with most fibre connections, without the long setup. Other benefits include the ease of setting up ‘Guest Wi-Fi’, which can help improve cybersecurity by separating visitor connections from employees. Many routers, including the LinkHub, will also come with an app for additional functionalities, allowing for any changes and upgrades to be carried out remotely. With the size and scale of construction sites varying so much between projects, finding the right solution to fit can be a challenge. But with the flexibility of a router, combined with the UK’s ongoing 5G rollout, it could be the answer to providing businesses with high-speed, reliable internet, wherever the job next takes you. Crystaline supplies a range of 5G routers to suit a variety of construction site specifications. To discuss your individual needs with a member of the team, please get in touch. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals 

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Metamaterials’ Potential in mmWave 5G Telecommunications and Beyond

Metamaterials’ Potential in mmWave 5G Telecommunications and Beyond

Having been largely confined to the realm of academia for many years, metamaterials are now set for commercialization in several major applications. The IDTechEx report, “Metamaterials Markets 2023-2043: Optical and Radio-Frequency”, explores the opportunities within this emerging materials technology. A particularly significant emergent application of electromagnetic metamaterials is in supporting the deployment of high-frequency telecommunications, such as millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G and even THz. High frequencies can allow for faster data transfer and hence improved user experience. However, at high frequencies, there is a severe loss in energy across long distances. These problems can be further exacerbated by obstacles, as is common in urban environments. As a result, a low-power device that can facilitate the delivery of high-frequency signals in crowded environments is required. Metamaterials offer a potential solution through enabling the development of “Reconfigurable Intelligent Systems”, or RIS for short. These systems integrate electronic components to reflect radio waves in specific, configurable directions – enabling signals to be reflected around obstacles, thus overcoming the issues of signal blockage. RIS can potentially even track users autonomously for directed communications, allowing for greater signal quality and improved security by reducing the likelihood of connection by unauthorized users. These advantages that RIS propose have drawn attention from telecom providers such as Verizon, who partnered with RIS-developer Pivotal Commware in 2020 to deploy the latter’s products in supporting mmWave 5G deployment. If beaming a signal in a specific direction were the only goal, then this could be achieved using conventional relay stations. However, RIS offers two crucial advantages – namely, their low power use and small form factor. This allows them to be deployed at scale in areas where a conventional relay station would not fit, such as above traffic lights at crowded junctions or under a ceiling in a stadium, significantly improving 5G coverage in crowded environments. The requirement of low power also greatly reduces the costs of operating a widespread network, and it may even be possible to power some RIS devices from built-in energy harvesting systems such as solar photovoltaics. Deployment at scale for RIS would only be possible if each device could be produced affordably – as such, the materials used and manufacturing process are of key concern. RIS developers, such as Greenerwave and Pivotal Commware, have thus designed their devices to be compatible with conventional PCB components and manufacturing methods. That these rely on well-founded industries ensures manufacturing can be carried out affordably at scale. The devices discussed above incorporated electronic components to actively steer signals; however, electronic components are not a prerequisite. A feature central to metamaterials is their ability to reflect at otherwise unachievable angles, and so may conceivably be deployed as “mirrors” to passively reflect signals around corners. Transparent metamaterial sheets capable of this functionality pose a significant materials opportunity, as they may be integrable with existing structures such as windows or walls. An example of such a product is demonstrated by Meta Materials Inc and Sekisui, who entered a collaboration in 2021 to develop a transparent conductive reflector film that can reflect signals for improved mmWave signal coverage.  Thus far, only reflection has been considered – however, metamaterials can also enhance high-frequency telecommunications through improving the transmission of signals through windows. Low-emissivity glass contains a very thin transparent layer of metal oxide to block UV and infrared radiation; such glass can be found in the windows of regular households, businesses, and in the windshields of cars. It is becoming increasingly common for consumers to choose low-emissivity glass in order to improve energy efficiency and minimize utility bills. However, these also have the effect of blocking wireless communication signals and thus causes poor phone reception. By incorporating a transparent metamaterial film, the strength of high-frequency signals within buildings can be greatly enhanced. Indeed, such high-frequency signals experience particularly significant attenuation and may necessitate metamaterials for any viable indoor phone reception. 5G has been commercialized since 2019, but to date, mmWave has been impeded by the high costs necessary for implementation. The short range of mmWave requires large numbers of base stations to be installed, thus making it expensive and unattractive. However, metamaterial-based RIS may be set to revolutionize the market by enabling affordable, widespread coverage, paving the way for future high-frequency telecommunications. In the IDTechEx report “Metamaterials Markets 2023-2043: Optical and Radio-Frequency”, the potential of metamaterial-based RIS is analyzed in depth to assess the potential for this emergent technology in supporting high-frequency telecommunications. Building, Design and Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Enel to Provide Reliable and Sustainable Electricity Across its Networks

Enel to Provide Reliable and Sustainable Electricity Across its Networks

Enel Global Infrastructure & Networks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide reliable and sustainable power across its networks in Italy and Spain thanks to the installation of ABB’s innovative SF6-free Ring Main Units (RMUs), specifically designed for Enel’s requirements. The project represents an important step towards delivering increasingly sustainable power grids, as ABB’s low pressure 24kV solution has the same footprint, safety and reliability as traditional SF6 solutions. The pilot installation involves 20 new ABB SafePlus AirPlus™ Medium Voltage (MV) RMUs in Enel’s secondary substations across Italy and Spain and will contribute to minimize their global warming potential, while making switchgear operation and maintenance safer for personnel.  Gas insulated switchgear, widely used in MV secondary substations, conventionally contain SF6 – which has excellent dielectric and arc extinguishing properties, but at the same time is the world’s most potent greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential 25,200 times that of CO2. The new SafePlus AirPlus, part of ABB’s ecoGIS family of products, features innovative Load Break Switches (LBS) optimized for SF6-alternative gases. Unlike traditional alternatives, the switch is based on puffer interrupter technology and functions as both a load break and disconnector switch for maximum safety. ABB’s SafePlus AirPlus low-pressure design with its 0.4 bar relative pressure, reduces the risk of leaks and accidents due to electrical arcs and makes it very safe to operate, even in the case of abnormal gas leakages where high pressure alternatives would need be switched off immediately. Therefore, in the unlikely event of a leakage, ABB’s low-pressure design based on AirPlus as an eco-friendly SF6 alternative, ensures highest availability and reliability of the network.  Alessandro Palin, Division President of ABB Distribution Solutions, comments: “The installation of the world’s first SF6-free SafePlus AirPlus™ Ring Main Units is another example of ABB working in partnership with customers to create sustainable solutions that are better for our planet and our society. With ongoing political discussions about a complete ban of SF6 in new installations, including the EU’s latest proposal, this proves that migrating to a more certain future with SF6-free alternatives, which practically offer the same known and proven benefits, is possible, and possible now.”  “To reach our Net-Zero goals, sustainability must be at the core of our present and future business. For this reason, at Enel we started integrating new principles in all our processes, including sustainable specifications together with technical and economical parameters already in place,” added Francesco Amadei, Head of Engineering & Construction, Enel Global Infrastructure and Networks for Enel. “The collaboration with innovative partners such as ABB is key to accelerating the delivery of sustainable grids worldwide, a challenging path forward that must include all components and assets of the value chain. Innovative solutions like ABB’s SF6-free technology will help us to minimize our global warming impact and support our commitment to the 13th SDG goal – Climate Action. They will also help to make our networks increasingly safe and reliable, ensuring continuity and quality of the electricity supply to our customers.” Building, Design and Construction Magazine | The Home of Construction and Property News

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