Cellular Based SCADA System as a Service

Existing Cellular Infrastructure Supports Millions of M2M Connections

The national 3G/4G carriers have made a huge investment in network expansion and technology improvements over the past few years with Verizon and ATT together spending over $13B in 2013 alone. These upgrades have enabled a myriad of new high-bandwidth internet services and devices including many cellular-based Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications. In fact, there are now over 60M cellular M2M connections in the U.S. with this number expected to exceed 100M by 2016. Much of this investment by the carriers has taken place in rural and remote areas opening new possibilities and capabilities that did not previously exist.

 

PetroCloud Uniquely Offers a Cellular Based SCADA System as a Service

With its extensive hardware engineering and telemetry expertise, PetroCloud is uniquely able to leverage this expanded 3G/4G coverage in remote areas using its extended range RCU along with its strong national partnerships with both Verizon and ATT. PetroCloud is the only solution provider offering oil and gas SCADA as a Service to oil and gas operators nationwide as a Solution Partner with Verizon and a National Partner with ATT.

 

Modern SCADA Applications Require High Bandwidth and Low Latency

Traditional SCADA system design relies on low-bandwidth, proprietary radios that are expensive both in terms of CAPEX and OPEX. These legacy systems along with newer proprietary radios were never architected to support new, low-latency, high-bandwidth applications for the modern digital oilfield. Their limited capabilities are a function of their low bandwidth and when combined with the high total cost of ownership and their high latency, these systems are outdated before they are even deployed, and usually, oil and gas operators are responsible for maintaining these systems.

 

Cellular is Well-Suited for the Digital Oilfield

Many of the new SCADA radios are simply repackaged and re-priced developer kits that are resold with high margins. The marketing around these radios focuses on their increased range but fail to mention the low bandwidth and high latency which can range from several seconds to several minutes. Also overlooked is the fact that the world’s most prevalent, reliable radio infrastructure has already been built by the national carriers with cellular towers able to cover 1,200 sq. miles. Cellular technology is also better suited for automation in the digital oilfield with very low latency and extremely high bandwidth accommodating advanced monitoring of critical equipment along with HD video and cameras or 2 way automation and control of virtually any field device.

 

Comparison of PetroCloud SCADA as a Service to Traditional SCADA

PetroCloud is able to offer SCADA as a Service at a low monthly subscription rate using the PetroCloud Extended Range Cellular solution relying on existing national 3G/4G cellular networks with the high-bandwidth reliability, security, disaster recovery, and economies of scale inherent with the national carrier cellular infrastructure. Not only does PetroCloud provide traditional automation services in the oilfield, but the increased bandwidth enables new services that are not possible with a traditional SCADA system.

 

The table below compares traditional SCADA systems to PetroCloud SCADA as a Service:

Proprietary Radios (traditional SCADA)   PetroCloud SCADA as a Service  
Radio Technology Unlicensed 2.4GHz/900MHz/FHSS/DSSS Licensed Carrier Networks HSPA/LTE
Carrier Grade Service No Yes
Expected Coverage 200 – 400 sq. miles/Access Point 700 – 1200 sq. miles/Base Station
Capital Expense Very High None
Maintenance Expense High None
Expected Reliability 5 – 7 years 15 years (Replacement included in service)
Network Design Proprietary, low bandwidth, low scalability, customer maintained, expensive Existing national carrier, high bandwidth (3G/4G), infinitely scalable, guaranteed carrier service level of 99.97%
Susceptible to Interference High (Unlicensed band) Low (Licensed band)
Bandwidth Low (typically < 50 Kbps) High (typically > 4,000 Kbps)
Latency High (typically > 2,000 ms) Low (typically < 100 ms)
Security Varies depending on network High
Cloud-Based Services Not usual and with high latency Yes
Two-Way Automation Control Very Limited and with high latency Yes
HD Cameras No Yes
Remote Gate Access No Yes
Remote Noise Monitoring No Yes
Fugitive Emission Monitoring (Optical Gas Imaging) No Yes

 

Cellular Based SCADA as a Service is the Future-Proof Solution

Traditional SCADA architecture and radio systems have simply not kept pace with cellular technology and modern, high-bandwidth, cloud-computing platforms enabling the Internet of Things (IoT) that have emerged recently. The low bandwidth and high latency of traditional SCADA system design limits true M2M two-way communication; whereas, the national cellular carriers have kept pace with this evolution by aggressively deploying 4G over the past several years enabling a revolution in true M2M applications with high-bandwidth, two-way control and monitoring. PetroCloud has leveraged both the high-bandwidth 4G network coverage and the leading-edge cloud-computing technologies to be at the forefront of a revolution in both M2M and cellular based SCADA system in offering oil and gas SCADA as a Service. Join the revolution and contact PetroCloud today.