Texas Energy Network (TEN) Announces Membership in Key Energy Data Standards Organizations; Releases Standards for Carrier Deployment of LTE for Energy Communications

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TEN recently joined Energistics and PIDX, two key data standards organizations for the data industry. TEN also released its own standards for carrier deployment of LTE for oilfield communications.

End to end control of the network, in particular ownership and control of the network core, is critical for secure seamless transmission of energy industry data.

Citing ownership and control of the network core as a key element of service, Texas Energy Network, LLC announced today carrier deployment standards for LTE networks on the oilfield. Gregory M. Casey, Chief Executive Officer of TEN stated; "TEN is releasing these standards as guidelines for energy companies seeking to use LTE to transmit data. TEN's network is being built to a carrier class standard and we think its important that our energy customers know what that means compared to some other service that may portend to provide critical infrastructure wireless service." Casey was business unit head of Qwest/US West's carrier access business before starting TEN.

The first key element of carrier class service is control of the LTE Evolved Packet Core(EPC). An LTE network uses an eNodeB (evolved node B, essentially an LTE base station), a MME (mobile management entity), a HSS (home subscriber server), a SGW (serving gateway), and a PGW (a packet data network gateway). With the exception of the eNodeB, everything is considered as part of the EPC (evolved packet core) network. At the tower the eNodeB connects to the EPC.

The MME and the HSS basically handle all duties regarding subscriber access to the network. It handles all the authentication, roaming rules for subscribers, etc. The SGW essentially acts like a giant router for subscribers, passing data back and forth from the subscriber to the network. The PGW provides the connection to external data networks. The most common data network the PGW provides a connection to is the internet.

Therefore, ownership and control of the EPC is essential. Allen Shipman, Vice President of Engineering and Operations at TEN stated, "network control is essential when providing data transmission to critical infrastructure companies such as the energy industry. If the network isn't controlled and is maintained by a third party, its not secure and certainly not carrier class." Shipman is noted for his architecture of the 50,000 mile Broadwing fiber network now owned by data heavyweight Level 3.

Other key elements beside ownership and control that are essential to the provision of carrier class service are: 1) ownership and control of backhaul links over licensed spectrum, 2) ringed network topology to provide system continuity in the case of backhaul failure, 3) redundant core routers in the case of failure, 4) secure tower deployment and several other design elements. These standards will be announced on TEN's website in September.

TEN also announced membership in two key energy data standards organizations, Energistics and PIDX. Energistics is a global industry consortium that facilitates an inclusive user community for the development, adoption and maintenance of collaborative, open standards for the energy industry in general and specifically for oil and gas exploration and production. Its website can be found at http://www.energistics.org. PIDX provides a global forum for delivering the process, information and technology standards that facilitates seamless, efficient electronic business within the oil and natural gas industry and its trading community. Its website can be found at http://www.pidx.org. Greg Casey also noted "TEN is the first carrier to become a member in both organizations. Our intention is to not only efficiently transport data at high speeds but to facilitate the use of data in energy company work flows. Membership in these organizations gives us access to key energy data constituents."

Starting first in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford shale play, TEN is delivering 4G LTE to the oil and gas industry to enable the promise of the "Digital Oilfield". The company's website can be found at http://www.texasenergynetwork.com.

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