Private networks speed 5G deployments — GCN

Private networks are accelerating the implementation of 5G

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the need for greater connectivity across the country, and one solution that strikes forward as a result is private 5G.

“5G is the fastest growing segment of the wireless network infrastructure market,” according to Gartner, which predicts that by the end of 2024, 60% of cloud service providers will commercialize the 5G service in Tier-1 cities. But operators will not have real 5G public networks until 2025-2030making private networks the fastest way to take advantage of technology.

To find out how private 5G differs from public 5G, consider this as follows: If you have a Verizon mobile phone, its SIM card allows you to authenticate and get permission to use this network, but you cannot use the AT&T network, because it is not provided for this. A private 5G network is changing that by removing restrictions.

For example, air force flight operations require constant connectivity in an environment that is always moving, said Mark DeVall, vice president of federal sales at Cradlepoint, which Ericsson acquired last year. “If we can create a private cellular network to surround an air force flight line or an army flight line, then you have a mobile connection,” he said. “Now you can work in a private cellular network, not in the network of the commercial operator, and then you can be the one who owns, manages, operates and – the biggest thing – controls this network environment. You give up control when you work on a commercial network, compared to when you can own, manage and maintain it yourself. ”

“Basically, you become a mini-carrier yourself,” added Todd Krautkremer, Cradlepoint’s chief marketing officer.

As a result, solution providers such as Cradlepoint are building versions of these private cellular networks to facilitate the adoption of private 5G by IT organizations. “If there are Wi-Fi devices on the flight line that don’t have SIM cards, you’ll use a Cradlepoint device to connect those devices with Wi-Fi to a cellular network,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Murray City, Utah school district became the first school district in the country to create and launch its own private cellular network using the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum, the bandwidth approved for private cellular networks. The private LTE network will provide free internet access to all 6,000 of its students.

The area has built cell towers around school campuses that radiate at least 4 miles, DeWall said. A unit in the homes then allows users to connect to this private network owned and operated by the school district. The result is high-speed broadband access over cellular networks, he added.

Since last fall, the United School District of Fresno, California (FUSD) has been building cell towers in 15 schools to provide private LTE that supports up to 6,000 simultaneous students.

“By putting it in school, you avoid the whole permitting process and the whole tower building and all the engineering,” said Philipp Neufeld, FUSD’s chief IT officer. “With LTE connectivity and areas that do not have good cell towers, in areas where families cannot afford it, these students will have these barriers removed …. They will be more employable, more likely to go to college and that changes the economic situation in a region. “

IN the largest private 5G installer is the Ministry of Defense. Its 2020. “Plan to implement a 5G strategy“States that DOD” will require the ability to safely use private, hybrid and public 5G networks. In June, the agency announced successful demonstration of a private 5G network in a pilot test of an intelligent warehouse by the Marine Logistics Command in Albany, Georgia.

For businesses that do not want to be their own carriers, Krautkremer said the managed service model is an option in which a system integrator handles network architecture and management.

The advantages of 5G include speed and support for network sharing, which allows a single network connection to be split into multiple virtual ones to handle different traffic simultaneously.

“5G is the first truly software-defined network, so we can do things like network sharing. We will be able to cut 5G and distribute it to applications, “Krautkremer said. “We will be able to … manage the connection so that if I have a critical connection, it will not be crushed at 5 o’clock, because the traffic on the local roads uses its mobile towers. The bandwidth becomes dedicated. “

In Fresno, other organizations are interested in using a private network, including a hospital, which could reduce a person’s cost of providing health care, for example by improving telemedicine. “I think there will be an explosion of these types of networks because it reaches people who are underserved in many ways, with many different ways in which it brings value,” said Neusfeld of FUSD.

About the author

Stephanie Kanowitz is a freelance writer based in Northern Virginia.

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