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Petrobras sees private networks rollout speeding up in 2023

Bnamericas Published: Friday, January 13, 2023
Petrobras sees private networks rollout speeding up in 2023

Brazil’s federal oil firm Petrobras is accelerating 4G private network deployment at its offshore and onshore facilities, Maximiliam Vieira, the company’s senior ICT consultant and among those responsible for the project, told BNamericas.

At present, networks are functioning on 11 of 29 platforms and in six of 17 onshore facilities, all part of the project’s first phase.

The onshore facilities include refineries, gas processing plants, thermal plants, port terminals and logistics warehouses. A seventh onshore network is about to be fully activated, Vieira said.

The networks are deployed by Telefônica Brasil, which won the tender and both companies signed the contract last year. The networks use spectrum in the 700MHz band, acquired by the telco in 2014, and in the 1.8GHz band.

The project comprises a dedicated network for 46 onshore and offshore units by 2024, but this number might increase as Petrobras adds more platforms. 

Nearly half of the entire network was activated in 2022 and Vieira is optimistic that the deadline could be brought forward.

Prior to engaging a mobile carrier, Petrobras itself was deploying antennas and related transmission equipment on its platforms and onshore locations.

For that, the company secured a special industrial spectrum license, or limited service permit, from telecoms regulator Anatel and commissioned the deployment to a network integrator. This integrator used antennas provided by Huawei.

Telefônica, for its part, is not tied to a single provider, according to Vieira. 

Equipment depends on region and location of the premises that will receive the network, he said. Telefônica, like other telcos, has different agreements with different network vendors for specific regions in Brazil. Most equipment Telefônica deploys for Petrobras comes from Nokia.

FIBER

Petrobras is also advancing fiber connections for its platforms in the Santos and Campos basins. Fiber enables more reliable connections and lower latency than radio or satellite. 

Zemax and Planova won the tender for carrying out the Santos basin connections. A 1.42bn-real (US$278mn) fiber engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract was inked with the ZemaxLog-Planova consortium in December 2021.

The 1,000km network is expected to connect the PMXL-1, P-66, P-67, P-68, P-69, P-70, P-74, P-75, P-76, P-77 and P-71platforms, in addition to the Guanabara and Sepetiba FPSOs.

Campos

More recently, Petrobras launched a fiber tender for 12 production units in the Campos basin, which attracted four bidders, including Zemax. The proposals are currently under evaluation. 

ALSO READ Four bids in Petrobras offshore fiber optics tender

The network in the Campos basin will comprise a 433km ring-shaped trunk optical cable connecting the landing stations in Anchieta (Espírito Santo state) and Quissamã (Rio de Janeiro), as well as 113km of cables for the network branches (including three possible future branches), 14km of terrestrial and topside cables, and 127km of umbilical cables linking the 12 units.

The offshore units to be connected are: P-48, P-56, P-51, P-43, P-40, PRA-1, P-55, P-52, P-62, P-54, P-57 and P-58. The contractor must follow this sequence for deployment.

Separately, Petrobras is divesting its 8,000km national terrestrial fiber network. 

At the end of December, it announced companies qualified for this process would receive an invitation with instructions on the next steps, including guidelines for conducting due diligence and for submitting binding proposals.

ALSO READ What is the terrestrial fiber grid Petrobras is selling?

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