Public LTE and Wi-Fi networks have become a necessity in the digital age. However, if networks aren’t available due to limited coverage, if there are capacity issues, or if they aren’t secure enough, public LTE and Wi-Fi networks might not always be the best option.
That’s where private LTE comes in. You may have heard of LTE and Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) before, especially with the advent of 5G. With the expansion of network technologies, private LTE networks have emerged as a reliable, affordable, and effective alternative to public networks and Wi-Fi. Organizations and businesses across the U.S. are increasingly turning to private LTE networks based on CBRS to meet — and exceed — their connectivity needs.
What is Private LTE?
Private LTE networks are exactly what the name suggests, non-public wireless networks based on cellular LTE technology.
These local cellular networks are designed to support a business's needs beyond what a public cellular network can provide. It allows organizations to customize their own networks to support critical applications without having to rely on congested public networks. Using a private LTE network offers reliability and high performance, even under the strain of heavy traffic loads. For remote areas, outdoor workplaces, or a building that might block Wi-Fi signal, a private network can offer uninterrupted connectivity.
To set up a private LTE network, small cells are installed on-site and then managed by the service provider or site owner. Users can then install a private SIM on compatible cellular devices to connect to their private LTE network.
The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)
CBRS is a new, private LTE network more commonly known as the OnGo service. It takes up 150 MHz of shared spectrum on the 3.5 GHz C-band, also known as Band 48.
Historically, this band was typically reserved for use by the U.S. military, particularly the U.S. Navy for coastal and offshore communication.
However, the spectrum has recently been approved for broader use by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), allowing it to be used for a wide range of new applications, including for private businesses. This opens up the opportunity for an effective and affordable private LTE option.
10 Benefits of Private LTE
For many businesses, public LTE or Wi-Fi might not be enough to support their needs. Private LTE has many unique strengths, including its reliability, built-in security, and customization. It’s designed to put the customer in control of their experience and allows them to tailor a network to their exact needs.
Here are the top 10 benefits of private LTE.
Private LTE keeps data inside the corporate firewall, ensuring privacy for all users. In addition, all sensitive data is transmitted through secure methods and stored on-site. For certain regulated industries, like healthcare, finance, and transportation, this security is especially important.
With SIM security, an administrator can control device access, keeping private networks secure. All devices have a unique identifier, allowing them to be tracked and authenticated.
Using LTE ensures that you can stay connected, even when a device is on the move, as it allows you to easily pass from private to public networks. Private LTE networks are designed to provide seamless connectivity and mobility, without experiencing the loss of connection that might occur with Wi-Fi.
Customers can expect lower data transfer costs with private LTE when compared to public LTE. For businesses managing high data volumes, this can cut down on costs significantly.
While the cost of an individual small cell is higher than a Wi-Fi access point, fewer small cells are needed to provide coverage over a particular area.
Private LTE networks can be customized to meet an organization’s unique application needs. These networks also offer far more control for private administrators. They can determine how resources are allocated and how traffic is prioritized, including customizing parameters to optimize reliability in some challenging workplaces.
6. Wide Range
A private LTE network offers broader range and improved outdoor coverage. Devices operating on an LTE network can operate farther away from their base stations compared to Wi-Fi access points. The signal can also penetrate buildings, walls, or other obstacles that might otherwise obstruct a Wi-Fi signal. This makes private LTE ideal for enterprises with outdoor sites, like oil rigs, RV parks, stadiums, and more.
7. Quality of Service (QoS)
Quality of service, or QoS, is higher with LTE network technology. Customers have more control over how they prioritize data traffic, allowing them to keep the most critical applications running.
8. Deterministic Latency
Due to the full end-to-end control, private LTE networks offer deterministic latency, or the ability to set a fixed time for data transfer. This is especially important in workplaces where synchronization for devices is critical, like in a factory setting.
Without having to compete with other network users, LTE networks offer a higher capacity, allowing a large number of devices at the same time. It also allows administrators to set usage policy according to specific needs, including HD video streaming or security applications.
For increased resiliency and uptime, customers can also deploy additional cells to strengthen the connection. In addition, allowing fallback to public LTE can help maintain connectivity.
A More Reliable and Controllable Network with Private LTE
With the opening of CBRS for new users and the onset of 5G, it’s important to remember that we’re still in the early stages of implementing private LTE. Additional benefits private LTE are yet to be announced. However, for various industries across the U.S., private LTE networks have the potential to expand the use of wireless communication. In addition to providing a more reliable, flexible, and cost-effective solution, it can also reach untapped markets or remote areas.
Ready to take your first step into new LTE technologies? If you want to get your workplace connected through a private LTE network, Novotech can help. Get the tech you need to support your needs, improve your productivity, and step into the future today.