ABB technologies that changed the world
Part eight: network management

ABB network management and utility communications solutions monitor, control, operate and protect the world’s power systems.

By ABB Communications

ABB network management and utility communications solutions monitor, control, operate and protect the world’s power systems.

They enable electric utilities and independent system operators to manage their transmission grids, distribution networks, power plants and energy trading markets, in real time .

They collect, transmit, store and analyze data from as many as hundreds of thousands of data points located throughout a power network and over large geographic areas.


ABB is the world’s leading supplier of network management and utility communications solutions.

They enable data, voice, video and protection signaling and other types of critical information to be communicated quickly, reliably and securely. And they are crucial to any smart grid solution of the future.

ABB played a pioneering role in the development of the first SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and network management systems in the 1970s.

Since then ABB has continued to push beyond the established frontiers of power system management by developing platforms for generation, transmission and distribution applications in the 1980s, energy trading systems in the 1990s, and new smart grid solutions in the 2000s.

Today ABB has delivered more than 400 network management and energy trading solutions, and has by far the largest installed base of any supplier worldwide. On the communications side, around one in four of the world’s high-voltage substations are protected by ABB teleprotection terminals, and more than 1.5 billion kilometers of high-voltage power lines transmit data at ultrahigh speed via ABB power line carriers.

Around 25 percent of the world’s high-voltage substations are equipped with ABB teleprotection terminals.



ABB is a full-range solution provider, offering complete and customized solutions for network control and network communications in generation, transmission, distribution, and market management.

Among the hundreds of groundbreaking solutions that ABB has provided all over the world are the following:

Integrating transmission and distribution networks into a single system
Karnataka is India’s fastest growing state and its capital, Bangalore, is an international hub for the global IT and biotechnology industries. In 2009 ABB delivered a solution that integrates the state’s power transmission and distribution systems and energy audit and energy billing systems into a single state-of-the-art platform. The solution monitors the power network of the entire state, provides accurate and real-time information on power supply and revenues, and enables operators to identify and correct faults quickly.

Managing one of the world’s largest energy markets
ABB has supplied many of the world’s energy trading systems – in California, Ontario, China, Singapore, Korea, Australia, the Philippines, to name a few. The solution for New York has been in operation since 2005 and is one of the world’s largest, enabling the New York Independent System Operator to operate a highly complex and congested power system. Electricity worth about $12 billion is traded annually using the ABB system, which is recognized as the international benchmark for the entire industry.

Improving the efficiency and reliability of the UK power grid
Cable & Wireless, one of the world’s leading communications companies, recently selected ABB to supply a range of utility communications solutions to improve the control, efficiency and reliability of the U.K. power grid. These solutions will interconnect 410 high-voltage substations throughout the U.K. and enable data from different mission-critical applications to be combined into a converged communication network – all managed by a communication network management system provided by ABB.

Improving operator efficiency by 50 percent
A single network manager solution for E.ON’s geographically fragmented distribution systems in Sweden boosted operator efficiency by 50 percent and dramatically improved customer satisfaction. The solution replaced 19 existing SCADA systems with a seamlessly integrated system for the distribution networks and outage management systems, as well as the enterprise resource planning and geographical information systems.

Enabling the smart grids of the future
Network management is a prerequisite for any smart grid of the future. These grids will have to incorporate and manage centralized and distributed power generation, intermittent sources of renewable energy like wind and solar power, allow consumers to become producers and export their excess power, enable multi-directional power flow from many different sources, and integrate real-time pricing and load management data. ABB has long been in the vanguard of smart grid development, and is currently involved in numerous projects all over the world to evolve existing power networks into smarter networks.


Electricity worth about $12 billion is traded annually using the ABB system in New York, which is recognized as the international benchmark for the entire industry.

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    KPTCL's control room in Bangalore, delivered by ABB in 2007-2009. The systems monitors and controls power distribution to 16 million people.

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