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Private LTE – Use Cases and Benefits

By April 1, 2021 No Comments

The global private LTE market size is projected to grow from USD 4.0 billion in 2020 to USD 7.5 billion by 2025, at a 13.6% CAGR during the forecast period, according to recent research. This trend is being driven by a combination of unlicensed spectrum availability, demand for secured and reliable mobile communications, the emergence of industrial IoT applications and the rising need to reduce the network infrastructure CAPEX and OPEX.

Attractive Opportunities in the Private LTE Market

What is a Private LTE Network?

Today’s private LTE (P-LTE) networks fit perfectly between the wireless carrier’s wide-area LTE networks and your existing Wi-Fi network.  Think of it as your corporate cellular network.  Private LTE networks deliver the security, mobility, and coverage of a carrier’s network, with the control and fixed cost you have come to expect from Wi-Fi.

Much like a mobile carrier’s network, your corporate LTE network will consist of three primary components: radios, core software to control and manage the network, and devices in the hands of your employees.  Sound like your existing Wi-Fi network?  At the 100K foot level, it is.  Your corporate LTE network will enable you to securely extend your IT network across your entire office, campus, laydown yard, or construction site.

Globalgig Integrated Corporate LTE Solution

When to Deploy a Private LTE Network vs. Extending Existing Wi-Fi?

Top reasons for deploying a private LTE network include the following:

  1. Wi-Fi cannot deliver the connectivity needed in a large outdoor environment
  2. Where there is significant Wi-Fi interference from either steel walls, or nearby competing Wi-Fi networks, resulting in an inconsistent user experience. Private LTE brings broader, more robust coverage over dedicated spectrum.
  3. When enhanced security is required. With a Private LTE solution, every connection to the network is secured both over-the-air and with end-to-end device authentication via your private SIM card.
  4. When Wi-Fi cannot handle the high density of devices

Let’s unpack this a bit. When comparing LTE radios to Wi-Fi access points, LTE will always cover more areas, both indoor and outdoor. The reason for this is simple, in an outdoor environment, LTE radios are designed to transmit more power. In an indoor environment, your corporate LTE network will run on dedicated spectrum, never again will your radio signals be interfered with by the office next door. More importantly, LTE was designed from the ground up to work in difficult radio environments and as such, has the ability to deal with radio signals bouncing off metal walls, and floor-to-ceiling racks where Wi-Fi just cannot deliver. Finally, your private LTE network comes with a multi-layer approach to security. Data transiting the network is encrypted and every device is authenticated each time it uses the network.

…but how would it really work?

Let’s look at an example of a hospital that wants to set up a large outdoor COVID triage area in the parking lot.  They have a variety of end-user devices with different capabilities (Wi-Fi, LTE) and all of them need access to the hospital’s network.   A two-radio corporate LTE network can securely provide 600 Mbps of throughput to be shared across a variety of devices and routers.

Image Source: AGL Media Group

In this example, the corporate LTE network is being used both as a primary network by i-Phones and push-to-talk radios or as a backhaul solution for a Peplink or Cradlepoint wireless router used to connect Wi-Fi only devices.

These outdoor connectivity requirements are not limited to hospitals but can be delivered at stadiums to connect point-of-sale terminals, to warehouses with large laydown yards where workers or security cameras need connectivity back to the corporate network.  Each of these scenarios can be addressed without the need to break concrete to bury fiber or wired connectivity.

What’s next?

Do you have a challenging environment that you can’t cover with Wi-Fi? Have you been looking at ways to provide continuous coverage across your campus, manufacturing or warehouse facility? Do you want greater control and security of the wireless connectivity to your network? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Globalgig would be happy to help when the time is right.

Bob Ewald
SVP Mobile Product and Business Development

Bob is responsible for Globalgig’s strategic mobile product initiatives. Bob brings in-depth experience in mobile data solutions including IoT connectivity, private LTE/5G networks, and MVNOs. Prior to Globalgig, Bob held senior leadership positions at Federated Wireless, Kajeet, Nextel, and Nextel International. Bob holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

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