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There’s tremendous potential and significant momentum for Private LTE and shared spectrum such as CBRS in enterprise networking. PLTE/CBRS is a secure, reliable, high-performance, and cost-effective alternative to Wi-Fi in large areas such as large campuses, ports, venues warehouses, airports, manufacturing plants, and as a foundation for smart cities.
A Private LTE ecosystem is comprised of partners and equipment combining various hardware platforms; on-premises servers, applications, and services; and public cloud services to consider. With private LTE, organizations are bringing the scale and technology of the carrier, into the enterprise.
The number of wireless devices (enterprise and consumer) is increasing exponentially, and so is the correlating amount of data transmitted and received by these devices. The bottleneck is that there is a finite number of available wireless frequencies on the radio spectrum, and those frequencies are being consumed rapidly. Wi-Fi has become extremely congested and limited due to the high “noise” of Wi-Fi, especially in urban areas. CBRS helps alleviate this bottleneck by allocating a new band of frequencies. It’s like adding lanes to a highway and eliminating any traffic jams. While Wi-Fi 6E is also adding a lot of new spectrum, LTE offers a more efficient use of spectrum.
CBRS is commercially available to pretty much everyone. The typical carriers don’t own this spectrum. The top technology companies, including Cradlepoint, Cisco, Ericsson, Google, Intel, Facebook, Nokia, CommScope/Ruckus, and many others, are moving fast to develop and certify devices and networks for the new open spectrum. Enterprises are now able to deploy their own indoor and/or outdoor private LTE networks. There’s some light regulation to make sure that no one entity gobbles up the air that’s available.
Wi-Fi is largely considered a non-secure, or easily hackable, platform. PLTE/CBRS networks have restricted access based on SIM cards and have configurable network topologies so IT can leverage best practices in cybersecurity design. You can feel comfortable knowing that the same security that the carriers have enjoyed for years, is now available to the enterprise.
A private LTE network utilizing the CBRS band effectively can be used instead of, or in combination with, traditional Wi-Fi. It also effectively addresses cellular coverage gaps in large campus environments or spread-out facilities such as commercial office parks, sports venues, airports, manufacturing plants, hotels and hospitals, etc. In Industrial IoT applications, feel good about the investment with one third the number of equivalent access points.
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