October 29, 2019
A private LTE network has the power to transform any property into a model of connectivity. It can be used anywhere, even in areas with very little or no cellular coverage. The benefits of this technology are largely untapped, but its potential is undeniable. See how private LTE works, and what it may be used for right now and in the future.
What is Private LTE?
Private LTE is any network deployed, owned, and managed by the enterprise and independent of any carrier. It may refer to an LTE over Wi-Fi system or to a CBRS network. The former refers to the idea of using unlicensed spectrum to support connectivity, while the latter technology walks the line between licensed and unlicensed radio waves in a novel concept called shared spectrum. Frequencies may either be Priority Access License (PAL) or General Authorized Access (GAA), and these networks may have access to both someday soon.
The radio waves on the spectrum carry countless signals back and forth on our devices. Private LTE answers the question of how they can be privately owned and operated to meet modern-day connectivity needs. This technology uses small cells and micro towers and normally without the use of macro eNodeBs and without the standard utility costs of today. As our devices change and the pressure on the network increases, this can be the solution to seamless coverage and sufficient capacity in even the largest of venues or cities.
What Does Private LTE Mean For Me?
By reducing the restrictions on the spectrum, you can achieve full coverage regardless of where or how large a property is. You have the option to set up the network through a cellular carrier, a third-party provider, or an internal system. You’ll still likely need traditional equipment, such as servers, but the costs of this network are typically no more than widescale Wi-Fi deployment.
In addition to being more cost-effective, it’s also more efficient. All your devices can connect and securely operate on the network — even when they hit peak traffic. For example, property owners can use it to improve the latency and definition of their video surveillance or to connect multiple security teams in a single facility. It can also be configured to remotely control equipment or vehicles. Further, property owners can use private LTE for automation in their facility for standard operations or use of emergency services.
What is the Future of Private LTE?
Here are just a few ways we may see a private LTE network deployed in the future:
- Rural areas: Facilities in remote locations can be equipped with a local-area network
- High traffic: Large venues with exceptionally high traffic demands can get the necessary bandwidth
- IoT: Enterprises can secure their devices through a private network
- Privacy: Organizations can keep confidential data on the premises under lock and key
How Does Private LTE Affect the IoT?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the idea of having all devices in a given range connected to the same network. In a home, this may look like your alarm clock triggering your coffee pot to make you a fresh cup. In a large building or property, the IoT can monitor equipment, improve maintenance schedules, and secure data. Private LTE makes it possible to connect it all without slowing the public cellular network down. So, if you needed to connect all 300 of your security cameras together, you can use a private LTE to make that happen.
Can’t I Just Use Wi-Fi?
A private LTE is not necessarily used to replace standard Wi-Fi (although it certainly can). In-building wireless solutions, such as CBRS, are viewed as a complementary technology to Wi-Fi. If Wi-Fi were enough, many of today’s security concerns and performance issues would not exist.
The performance and reliability of modern Wi-Fi has simply not kept pace with the demands of the day, making it necessary to look for more creative solutions to provide safer and more consistent coverage
How Can Private LTE Help My Security?
The number of hacking attempts is truly astonishing across the globe. From Fortune 500 companies to small businesses to the everyday consumer, we’re all at risk of a security breach to some degree. With a private LTE, you’re getting additional security that can’t be achieved through Wi-Fi. Why? Mainly because your traffic is not on the public internet, significantly reducing the likelihood that the information on your servers and devices will get into the wrong hands.
Why Haven’t We Seen More Private LTE Networks?
This exciting concept has stirred the wireless community, but not everyone feels positive about the changes. License owners want to maintain control of the spectrum, and carriers worry about how private LTE may disrupt public LTE. Regulatory agencies like the FCC have been slow to respond with new rules. Despite the pushback, there is a general trend of moving forward on private LTE. The potential to improve security while improving overall connectivity is simply too great to pass up.
With the advent of the CBRS band, the long pole in the private LTE concept, which has been access to spectrum, has been resolved. More private networks will spring up everywhere in the next few years.
Can Private LTE Networks Adapt to New Technology?
A private LTE network is just one of several in-building solutions that are designed to scale with future technology changes. It can even adapt to technology updates as well as to changes to your property. For example, if you decide to purchase additional land on either side of your facility, a private LTE network can be expanded to accommodate the additional required coverage and capacity. This way, you don’t have to worry about dead zones or turtle speeds anywhere along on the property.
How Can I Set Up a Private LTE Network?
As mentioned, Private LTE is only one potential wireless solution. Now is a great time to explore how in-building wireless can supplement and improve your current coverage and property safety. Connectivity Wireless is here to get you on the right track. From contract negotiation to installation to deployment, we will be an active partner every step of the way. If your property would function better with a different technology, we’ll give you the data and advice you need to make an informed decision.
Contact us today and take the first step toward smarter security, faster connectivity, and happier guests and tenants.