How to implement private wireless
Choose the best architecture and partner options for your private wireless deployment
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Multiple architecture and partnership options can be considered when implementing private wireless solutions. Choosing the best approach depends on multiple factors such as the character of various sites, the use cases and the IT team capabilities.
The basic architecture of your private wireless network starts with the placement of radios around your site (or sites) to ensure optimum coverage and dedicated capacity. The radios are then connected to the core, which will perform the network’s key functions. In a 4G/LTE cloud-native private network, an edge cloud server on your premises can perform some distributed core functions to improve latency and reliability, or to ensure complete data confidentiality.
Given this flexibility in the distribution of core functions, there are several architecture deployment options. They range from a fully private, on-premises network to private wireless-as-a-service and core slicing. Each architecture has its strengths and weaknesses. Your needs and budget will determine which is the best fit for your business.
Autonomous private wireless
All network functions – core, management elements, applications – are deployed locally at your industrial site. If you need wireless services for more than one site, you can put all network functions at your headquarters and deploy an application edge cloud at each site to improve reliability and latency.
Private wireless as a service
All or most parts of the core and all applications are deployed on a local edge cloud server. The management elements are hosted in a third-party or mobile service provider cloud.
Core slicing is typically a third-party hosted solution. The minimum core elements and applications are deployed on your premises to ensure reliability and low latency and preserve the confidentiality of your data. The rest of the core elements and applications run in the service provider cloud and rely on existing cloud core management.
Choosing the right architecture for your business
The complexity of implementation and operational costs are highest for autonomous private architecture and lowest for core slicing. Data confidentiality, security and reliability typically decreases with as-a-service and core slicing solutions.
A hybrid private–public architecture could be the right choice if you have operations spread over a wide area, need connectivity with off-site and mobile assets, or prefer to outsource this part of your IT operation.
An autonomous private wireless solution could be the right choice if you need to have full control of your operational technology (OT) network and ensure the reliability and availability of your local operations when failures occur in the outside world.
CSPs bring a number of key assets to the table. They have decades of experience running wireless mobile networks and a long history with governments and regulators. This means they have experts and influencers that can help your project get off the ground, as well as holding licenses for spectrum that might be better suited for your specific application than non-licensed or lightly licensed spectrum. Should you want to know more about the role that CSP can play, read the white paper.
For specific industrial use cases the interworking between your private wireless network and their public mobile networks can also bring key benefits. These might include access to the national mobile network for reasons of reach, redundancy or efficiency.
Licensed (vertical or CSP leasing)
- More and more countries’ regulatory bodies are releasing enterprise licenses for specific frequency bands. Over 40 countries have now issued spectrum bands (2.6GHz TD-LTE, 3.7GHz, etc) for private wireless.
- Nokia also has several CSPs partners, with agreement in place to use some of their spectrum, for private wireless deployments. In addition, spectrum can be asked from CSP, on an ad-hoc basis or as part of the CSP own private wireless offering.
- Industrial sites private wireless bands tend to be in the higher-frequencies providing the right mix of capacity and coverage.
- Wide area private networks tend to favor lower spectrum for segments such as public safety, utility or railways (410-900Mhz)
- US Citizen Band Radio Service (CBRS) uses 3.5Ghz and has Incumbent, Priority Access License (PAL) and General Authorized Access (GAA) options available for shared use.
- GAA spectrum, is open to anyone using online application, tends to be more applicable for site specific coverage, while PAL, that required bidding for, allows also for wider deployments.
- The US is leading this spectrum offering; however, many countries are looking at similar spectrum usage for the future opening of shared spectrum bands.
- 5GHz, 6GHz and 60hz are opening-up new options for industries and the public sector to deliver private wireless services. Today 4.9G/LTE based private wireless can operate in the 5GHz spectrum using MulteFire technology.
- Unlicensed spectrum opens-up many possibilities for private wireless:
- Ease access and further lower cost of private wireless, helping to drive SME markets uptake as acquiring spectrum or rights to spectrum, is no longer needed.
- Allow deployment of private wireless in any markets where spectrum is hard to get, or CSP are not allow to sub-lease their spectrum
- Help complement existing private wireless networks, for example to add capacity for video applications
- Unlicensed nature of the spectrum, makes it particularly suitable for new nomadic use cases key in some segments (events, construction, broadcasting, etc.)
- MulteFire Alliance (MFA) is an international consortium of companies that are driving unlicensed specifications on top of the 3GPP releases to provide network performance enhancements.
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