What Is a 5G Deployment?
A 5G deployment is a new set of radios and infrastructure designed to support the 5G standard. The new 5G standard offers a significant improvement over 4G in terms of speed, latency, and coverage capacity. Much like how 4G ushered in the smartphone era, 5G will enable future technologies such as autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and ubiquitous IoT.
For businesses, this means a new level of reliability, scalability, and control over their cellular networks. Thanks to the private spectrum options such as CBRS in the United States and new plug-and-play cellular access point hardware, enterprises now have complete control over their cellular data and 5G deployments.
Do 5G Deployments Require Replacing 4G Infrastructure?
While public 5G deployments can certainly involve new hardware, that isn’t always necessary. Many commercial carriers in the United States such as AT&T and T-Mobile leverage dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) to broadcast 5G services without upgrading their infrastructure.
DSS allows 4G and 5G LTE to be used in the same frequency band and transmit from the same antenna. This technique reduces the cost associated with upgrading to 5G and has helped dramatically speed up 5G deployments across the country. Private LTE networks can use this same strategy to enable 5G across their enterprise network.
Instead of replacing thousands of radios on cell towers across the country, network operators can enable DSS remotely through a software update. This not only enables 5G service, but also improves the performance of the 4G LTE network using the same radio.
Components of a 5G Deployment
Like any new technology, deploying 5G requires proper planning and the right hardware to work correctly. While many commercial carriers are familiar with these steps, 5G deployments can be challenging for enterprises that are new to cellular technology. Celona partners with organizations to help plan, design, deploy, and manage private 5G networks.
A thorough site survey helps network operators understand where infrastructure should be placed to maximize efficiency and eliminate dead zones. Surveyors note other radio frequencies in the area and measure how room layouts and building materials impact signal quality and coverage.
Organizations using the CBRS spectrum in the United States can choose to operate on either the licensed or generally accessible tier. The licensed tier, or Priority Access License (PAL), allows businesses to secure portions of the spectrum on a county-by-county basis for private use. Priority Access Licenses can be obtained through CBRS auctions or second-hand marketplaces. For many enterprises in the US, general accessibility guarantees access to more than 2/3rd of the full CBRS spectrum and leaves room for PAL owners to deploy high priority infrastructure associated with their spectrum license spend.
5G deployments in a private network can be designed to meet different coverage needs and application requirements. For example, college campuses often use a combination of indoor and outdoor access points in conjunction with long-range outdoor antennas to provide blanket coverage across the campus.
For public cellular connectivity, mobile network operators can audit and certify fiber backhaul connections and radio coverage / designs that power the 5G network within such enterprise environments. Each cellular access point cell is aligned and oriented to provide the best possible coverage and broadcast in alignment with the larger public mobile network.
For public networks, end user devices are provided by the mobile network operator. In private networks, in order to use the private spectrum options, devices must have the capability to support the relevant frequency bands. There is a wide variety of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and network infrastructure that can be used in private 5G deployments. For instance, Celona maintains a list of the latest private LTE/5G-capable devices. Network administrators can manage each of these each devices connecting to a private cellular network through either physical SIM cards or by remotely provisioning devices using eSIM.
Cellular Resource Management
As public mobile network deployments are operating under licensed spectrum, cellular resource management is deterministic and by design is interference free. For private networks, one of the biggest benefits of conducting your own 5G deployment is having complete control over your traffic and cellular resources. This gives enterprises the ability to create application-specific service-level agreements that ensure mission-critical apps and devices always receive the resources they need.
In return, software defined controls and automation needs to tackle private spectrum management in real time, continuously ensuring devices receive the resources they need based on their set service-level agreements. This delivers self-healing and automatic provisioning to maximize overall private network capacity and maintain application quality.
Deploying Your Own 5G Network
Thanks to advancements in cellular spectrum options, private organizations can now deploy their own 5G network in just a few simple steps. Many organizations use both 5G and Wi-Fi in tandem to create an extra layer of resiliency and reliability for their critical enterprise applications.
With the Celona Network Planner, organizations can quickly discover what type of hardware they need and how many access points are required for their private 5G deployments. There are many moving parts to a private 5G network, and Celona works with organizations every step of the way to ensure a smooth and successful 5G deployment.
The Celona Solution
Celona's seamless turnkey solution for private 5G LANs come with plug-and-play cellular access points that can be quickly deployed throughout the enterprise facility, while proactive monitoring ensures network service-level agreements, such as throughput and latency requirements, are consistently being met.
Celona uses cloud networking principles to make private 5G deployments an out-of-box experience. Onboarding can be done alongside existing wireless and IT infrastructure, without interrupting business operations.
If you’re looking to build cellular wireless connectivity for your new digital initiatives, we can help. Check out our network planner to estimate the size of your network, and test-drive the Celona 5G LAN solution with a product demo or free trial.