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Dec 28 2017

2018: the year of private networks?

2018 is soon here and it brings a number of exciting opportunities and challenges, but I believe the stand-out, highlight topic for industry verticals will be private LTE and edge computing.

The many customers, analysts and industry experts I have met at events like IoTS World Congress and HPE Discover, all share the common expectation that 2018 will bring “digitization” another step closer to reality in their factories, oil rigs and transportation hubs.

While there are nuanced differences in opinion about what digitization, or “the fourth industrial revolution” will bring, everybody agrees on the potential of innovative technologies, such as delivering Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality through robust wireless networks with low latency – enabled by computing data at the edge.

Transportation, Oil & Gas going private

The transportation industry is already – surprisingly to some – making excellent progress with understanding how to improve critical business communications using wireless networks. At recent global industrial IOT events, I met with two railway companies eager to discover how Nokia’s private LTE solutions can provide scalable and reliable communication for train control, passenger broadband and IoT connectivity for the sensors and smart devices on moving and stationary carriages.

Another industry using private networks to tackle connectivity in harsh and remote environments is Oil and Gas, specifically on oil rigs. Regardless of whether a rig is stationed off the western coast of Africa or in the Mediterranean Sea, they suffer from similar business-critical connectivity issues. And interestingly, there is a competitive advantage to keeping their drilling data local so another reason to favour a private network, where Nokia’s private LTE and Multi-access Edge Computing delivers reliable connectivity and enables autonomous off-shore wireless operations. Local data processing also reduces latency, keeps their data private and allows them to save costs by just routing essential communications through their satellite connections.

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More and more enterprises are realising new levels of efficiency, security and safety with edge cloud computing technologies and private LTE networks, including the unlicensed MulteFire and shared spectrum Citizen Broadband Radio Service.

I believe there is no doubt all industrial verticals are set to greatly benefit from LTE technology, but the question is, are mobile operators ready to help them? Some forward-thinking mobile operators are seeing the opportunity presented by providing enterprise private networks. One such example is Ukkoverkot, the Finnish mobile operator who, with Nokia, is actively helping enterprises in many vertical industries and public safety services modernize with private LTE networks.

Nokia is ready to make the 4th industrial revolution a reality for mobile operators and enterprises in 2018. Find out how on our Industries web page.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #LTE #IoT #privateLTE #industry40 #CBRS #MulteFire #AR #VR #edgecomputing

About Samuele Machi

Samuele is responsible for marketing IoT optimized networks to enable IoT use cases and generate new revenues and operational cost-efficiency for operators and enterprise customers. It’s a good thing he’s passionate about new technologies and international business.