Tilson offers a range of telecom and IT services to power, water, and gas utilities, implementing and maintaining smarter generation, transmission and distribution facilities. Our experience with wireless networking and with fiber and right-of-way construction gives us the perfect combination of experience to design, implement, and maintain advanced utility infrastructure for grid modernization and advanced metering applications. We work with large and small utilities across the country to serve their unique networking needs, including automated metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation of substations and reclosers, substation connectivity, cellular integration, demand limitation and response, and voltage sensing.
Tilson’s network design team includes a team of experts including radio frequency engineers, radio frequency technicians and outside plant engineers. Our radio frequency engineers create high-level designs using industry-leading EDX software. With that high-level design in hand our outside plant engineers can field engineer the network using existing utility poles, and, where necessary, find the optimal locations for new utility poles to support the networking infrastructure. Once the field data collection is complete, our RF engineers run RF propagation models based on those locations, and finalize the network design.
Tilson RF technicians take the network design and make it a reality. We self-perform installation of radios, electrical equipment, RF equipment, fiber and antennas on utility poles, rooftops, towers, and water tanks. Once installed, our techs can evaluate and mitigate any RF interference, perform microwaving pathing, equipment turn-up, PIM and Sweep testing, and network optimization. Our RF engineers then reevaluate the network and add in additional wireless components necessary to fill in any unanticipated gaps in the network.
When required, Tilson can obtain all necessary real estate entitlements required to deploy network infrastructure. Our in-house team of real estate and site acquisition specialists are led by a team of attorneys and have local jurisdictional knowledge and experience in all of the markets we serve. We can obtain all necessary land use permits and pole placement rights, and expedite leasing by leveraging our relationships with most major tower owners.
Tilson provides both routine general maintenance following OEM and owner protocols for advanced utility infrastructure, as well as emergency response to trouble tickets. Our emergency number is staffed 24/7 and crews can be dispatched to assess and repair sites across the country. Because of our nationwide footprint we have the ability to mobilize quickly and respond to large-scale outages caused by natural disasters such as snow and ice storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
AMI 2.0 is changing the way utilities operate and manage their networks. With advanced two-way communication, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and better analytics and insights, utilities are taking metering and customer relations to the next level. That’s where we come in. For over a decade, Tilson has partnered with solution providers across power, water, and gas utilities to offer a range of telecom and IT services implementing and maintaining smarter transmission and distribution facilities.
Tilson was provided with a preliminary network design for a large AMI network for General Electric in the Southeastern United States. Our RF engineers and technicians completed the field engineering and validated the network design. We made several recommendations based on our field testing, our experience with AMI networks, and with standards for point to multipoint wireless connections. After the engineering design was finalized Tilson constructed the network, which included placing hundreds of new utility poles to support network infrastructure. We continue to provide ongoing maintenance to GE for their AMI network including routine maintenance, troubleshooting, repairs, optimization and enhancements.
Tilson has helped AVANGRID deploy AMI and distribution automation technology in three of their transmission and distribution territories. This included an industry-leading project in Maine deploying AMI nodes to support over 620,000 meters. Tilson provides network design, engineering and construction services in two states helping AVANGRID build their North American smart grid. Additionally, Tilson provides ongoing maintenance to the existing AVANGRID AMI networks, including both routine maintenance, and emergency response to network issues. Read the full case study.