Table of Contents
What is pLTE?
Private LTE refers to a local wireless network that uses LTE technology used by cellular networks, to provide high-speed wireless communication within a specific area. However, unlike traditional cellular networks that are operated by public carriers, private LTE networks are owned, deployed, and operated by private organizations for their specific needs.
There are 3 main variants
- Private LTE Core with Public mobile networks – This solution allows you to use Public LTE networks, but all data traffic is routed back through the mobile IPX network to your own packet gateway (P-GW). This setup allows for advanced security, with the P-GW residing in your own cloud or datacentre environment.
- Private LTE Core with Private radio network – This deployed is a standalone variant of the Private LTE infrastructure. This is available in certain countries where there is availability of public LTE spectrum. The Private LTE core is deployed on-premise or in a cloud environment. All traffic on the private radio network is routed back to this Private LTE core. This solution is suitable for remote locations or campus environment where the mobile LTE devices do not leave the geographical footprint of the radio network.
- Private LTE Core with Public and Private networks – This deployment combines the benefit of Private radio network with Public mobile operator networks, allowing for seamless connectivity as devices move in and out of the Private radio network area.
To learn more about the advantages and where can it be deployed visit our Secure Connectivity section.
What are the advantages of pLTE Interconnect?
- Security: The Private LTE core network is completely contained within the enterprise, secure behind the corporate firewall and separate from the public internet (including public operator channels).
- Network slicing: Similar to 5G, private LTE enables the network to be “sliced” into packet gateways in the same or multiple sites (geographic resilience). Separation of traffic for different device groups allows granular policy management for varying bandwidth, security and QoS requirements.
- Scalability: Seamless orchestration of global mobile networks managed through one centralized platform.
- Control: Additional packet gateways can be deployed and managed on the fly allowing an enterprise to set different requirements in terms of bandwidth speed, Quality of service (QoS) and data path control.
- Future Proofing: Private LTE is the perfect stepping stone to 5G, giving connected enterprises a competitive advantage today whilst preparing their networks for the future.
- Flexibility: A local private LTE network allows LTE to be deployed like a WiFi network. You own your connectivity and on the local network can choose your own APN.
- Capacity: The local private LTE network can provide higher levels of QoS as it can be isolated from public networks, and subscribers outside of the Enterprise.
Where can pLTE be deployed?
Available in the USA and some European countries depending on the spectrum available.
In the USA : The two key bands that have emerged for private LTE are the 3.5 GHz shared access band, known as Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), soon to be available in the U.S.; and the global unlicensed 5GHz band. There are some small requirements for frequency co-ordination, to avoid localised interference, but these bands operate in unlicensed spectrum and are well suited to private LTE networks.
In the short term, the focus for the CBRS band is on the commercializing standard LTE-TDD technology. In the 5 GHz band, MulteFire and License Assisted Access technology introduce listen-before-talk mechanisms to LTE to enable it to coexist with WiFi.
Elsewhere in Europe, a number of countries have allocated spectrum for Private LTE use. These include the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
How do private networks size up against WiFi?
Granular network control
Control of Private LTE is in the hands of the enterprise that owns and manages the network, meaning that the demand for network resources can be optimized and managed for IoT/M2M applications.
Not only does Private LTE have higher bandwidth capacity than WiFi, it also affords enterprises the ability to change bandwidth and duration on the fly.
Fast data speeds
Data runs at gigabit rates on Private LTE networks, whereas WiFi typically offers speeds of up to 300 Mbps. Plus, operating a private network means enterprises won’t encounter interference from the public wireless spectrum.
With Private LTE, the risk of data breaches is reduced to an absolute minimum. Access to a managed network environment – the IPX (IP eXchange) backbone network – ensures that data is kept secure as it is not sent over the public Internet. WiFi, on the other hand, was responsible for 72% of data breaches in UK businesses last year.
Wide-range network coverage
For a reliable WiFi connection, IoT devices need to be in close proximity to a wireless router, a significant hurdle for scaling an IoT application as numerous routers and extenders are required. LTE networks, however, are designed with scalability in mind, offering a much larger coverage area for a reliable, fast network connection.
When it comes to high volume data transfer and the scaling of IoT applications, enterprises see costs greatly reduced when choosing to build a Private LTE network in comparison to WiFi.
Seamless combinations of public and private networks The ability to seamlessly roam between private and public networks enables enterprises to capitalize on the benefits afforded by each type of network connectivity. The advanced functionality and global coverage of public networks combined with cost-effective, high-speed Private LTE networks creates a unified private domain which acts as an extension of the corporate LAN. In order to guarantee secure interoperability between public and private networks, algorithms can also be employed to alert enterprises to potential security threats.
Private LTE Networks Use Cases
Traditional enterprise technologies, such as WiFi, are not suitable for Industry 4.0 deployments. Limited connectivity in large geographical areas or industrial environments and spectrum congestion due to networks operating in the same frequency have given rise to the need for a new, alternative connectivity solution.
Self-maintained Private LTE networks are of particular interest to companies providing mission-critical services. Take manufacturing as an example. In large factories and warehouses, reliable connectivity for production-critical automation cannot be achieved via WiFi. Not only do private networks provide high-performance connectivity, they give enterprises the ability to utilize different network frequencies for different devices, guaranteeing interference-free connectivity for robotic and IoT devices throughout the plant. Private LTE can also be employed across multiple premises, yet centrally managed from one location enabling remote network control.
Private LTE and IoT Healthcare Devices: A Use Case
Point-of-care testing (POCT) is an important diagnostic tool in healthcare. When implemented correctly, it can increase the quality and efficiency of clinical decision-making regarding diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and prognosis, thus impacting positively on patient care.
Overcrowding in emergency departments, for example, is common, and increasing waiting times have been linked to increasing patient mortality. The speed at which POC testing solutions provide results could help address the pressures on physicians in the ED: wait times and unnecessary hospital admission decrease, serving to reduce the time to treatment and improve the efficiency of patient flow.
POCT is not just limited to hospitals, however. The ability to connect remote point-of-care testing devices to a healthcare organization’s network means that these diagnostic tools can also be utilized in patients’ homes, dialysis centers, nursing homes, and disaster and emergency response situations, for example.
Private LTE offers healthcare providers a secure private cellular network to connect point-of-care testing software and devices. Multiple individual access points and seamless roaming between public and private networks ensure a reliable connection regardless of whether the device is used on-site, in healthcare facilities, or remotely. Centralized connectivity for POCT gives laboratories an oversight of quality control (QC) and the means to manage devices and the user database over one platform, while also enabling IoT e-health systems to scale testing solutions from a central location.
What is a Metro Ethernet Connection?
Links directly from our network into your data center or a cloud service, without ever touching the public internet. Provides all the advantages of a VPN but does so using private, dedicated connections, as if they were part of your own network. This ensures that data is transmitted quickly and safely without risk of interference. The service is delivered over Metro Ethernet connectivity as a Layer 3 service. We have multiple connection points in Europe and the USA to provide geographical redundancy.
The service can be deployed to connect to your network in your datacenter or cloud platform. Over 100 PoPs and locations are available globally for this interconnect.
What can I do with SILICA?
SILICA is a powerful dashboard designed for managing your IoT devices with ease. Through Silica, you can efficiently track crucial factors such as device location, battery life, and temperature. Additionally, the platform enables data export, setting alarms, and provides detailed information about your devices. With Silica, you have all the tools you need to streamline IoT device management and make informed decisions effortlessly.
Can I get a SILICA account?
If you've purchased a hardware device from us, you should have received access to the SILICA platform. In case you haven't received your login details, please don't hesitate to contact us via email at email@example.com. Our team will assist you and ensure you gain access to the SILICA platform as soon as possible.