A 5G LAN is an LTE (4G) or 5G local area network built for an individual enterprise and designed to seamlessly integrate into their existing IT network infrastructure and IP services framework. Some of the features of 5G LAN include the following:
- Tight integration with existing enterprise IP domain structure and QoS framework
- 4x - 10x extended indoor/outdoor wireless coverage per AP versus Wi-Fi
- Deterministic, network-controlled device connectivity with no media contention
- Per device group and per application QOS enforcement from RN across LAN
- Low latency and packet loss
- Complete accessibility of end devices using intelligent routing
- Strong encryption, security and device authentication
- Flexible deployment options
What exactly is a 5G LAN?
Similar to a traditional wireless LAN (WLAN) that uses Wi-Fi, a 5G LAN is a private cellular network designed and developed specifically for enterprise environments, not big mobile operators. This new type of network architecture combines the performance and predictability of 4G/5G technology with the flexibility, control, and security of a traditional LAN.
5G LAN Features
While 5G LAN architecture may be new, its benefits are clear. Hospitals, warehouses, industrial plants, and even farms are using 5G LANs to predictably scale their network-connected operations. Let's explore some of the specific 5G LAN features found in this new architecture.
One of the biggest advantages of a 5G LAN is the control you have over your network. In the past, businesses had to rely on virtual “slices” of a public cellular carrier service or complex cellular products developed for massive public carrier networks. Neither approach worked well.
From operational control to resource throttling, generic quality of service to questionable data handling, enterprises were left with little to no control over how their cellular resources were being utilized or how their data was handled. Costly and complex carrier contracts severely limited enterprise agility and the use of big systems integrators to put carrier purposed equipment together made cellular a non starter for most organizations. This has all changed.
The 5G LANs now return control of the wireless infrastructure, service quality and data integrity back to the enterprise. With a 5G LAN system, enterprises have complete control over their wireless coverage and service quality without having to reconstruct their existing enterprise L2/L3 networks. This is very similar to how companies have come to own and operate their enterprise Wi-Fi systems. These systems are typically managed in-house IT staff or by a trusted solutions provider.
More control means more opportunities to support network-reliant applications and existing IP network services your business relies on every day. Unlike other approaches, 5G LAN systems are designed to leverage internal enterprise DHCP systems, VLAN segmentation and other IP network service systems already in place. This means that IP addressing and network operation is consistent from the radio access network (RAN) across the entire enterprise LAN.
5GLANs are also unique in their ability to interoperate with enterprise QoS policies.
For example, hospitals wishing to set application-specific service levels for their triage app would typically be unable to achieve that level of granularity because all traffic coming from different cellular devices looks like it’s coming from the same IP address or is operating behind a mobile router that requires each device to sit on its own VLAN. These restrictions vanish with 5G LANs, giving administrators full control over traffic management and how the private cellular better supports internal application requirements.
Instead of only being able to control cellular traffic flows across a single subnet, administrators can assign application-specific service levels that automatically enforce exact latency, throughput, and packet loss for each application or device group.
Celona-patented MicroSlicing enables this precise resource control along with seamless integrations and QoS syncing across the entire enterprise.
Unlike commercial networks, your 5G LAN isn’t restricted to specific zones where the carrier towers are present. Using the existing local Ethernet or fiber cabling plant, businesses can precisely tune coverage areas or add wireless capacity on demand by simply adding additional cellular radios where coverage is needed.
Through an intuitive, cloud-based portal, 5G LANs provide centralized control over device onboarding, traffic management and network analytics and infrastructure wide visibility.
These features allow enterprises to scale more quickly and reduce the complexity of deployments in their IT department.
5G LANs are uniquely designed to give enterprises with highly reliable wireless performance and connectivity. With 5GLANs everything is scheduled and controlled by the network. This means clients aren’t fighting for access to the medium or trying to figure out the best access point to connect with when roaming. It’s all scheduled and controlled by the network A huge win for IT staff.
There are various features that help create this highly predictable environment, starting with the spectrum.
5G LANs communicate within the 3.55 to 3.7 GHz, the so-called CBRS spectrum or Band 48 within the United States. Once used exclusively by the U.S Department of Defense, this spectrum has been opened up by the FCC and other regulatory bodies around the world to be shared by both licensed and unlicensed users. For unlicensed, or free, use, CBRS automates how access points connect to the cellular network to effectively eliminate any chance of interference from neighboring networks. This coordination is performed, industry-wide, through the spectrum access system.
Wireless signals as well as service levels, also have to remain predictable in an enterprise environment. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms monitor network conditions and spectrum allocation in real time, continuously ensuring devices receive the resources they need based on the predefined service levels desired. AI also allows self-healing, automatic provisioning, and improves the performance of each slice over time.
Lastly, the 5G LAN model utilizes self-organizing network (SON) principles to provide dynamic RF management managing channel selection, spectrum availability, and scheduling based on each device’s SLA objective.
Today, 5G remains at the cutting edge for high speed, low latency networks. Unlike previous best effort wireless technologies, 5G LAN uses orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) to help ensure predictable performance for each device connecting to the network. And because network access and operation is centrally scheduled and explicitly monitored by the network, performance stays consistent for users and devices. This is because, while the cellular medium is unlicensed, devices are not contending for media access. And when roaming, users don’t experience dropped connection or application disconnects because the network, not the device, is making all the decisions.
5LANs support a zero trust security posture with strong device identification, mutual authentication and end-to-end data encryption along the full data path, wireless or wired.
With MicroSlicing technology, segmentation over the air and through public and private networks can be achieved.
Unlike Wi-Fi, cellular networks don’t require a traditional password for access. 5G LANs eliminate the use of user names, passwords or certificates, using physical and embedded eSIM for a more secure connection. This radically simplifies device onboarding and eliminates the possibility of having a password cracked or shared with unauthorized users, and allows for granular security controls for each device.
With every aspect of the network under enterprise control, there’s no question about where your data is going, and how a third-party carrier is treating your data in transit. This gives businesses peace of mind while making meeting data compliance regulations much simpler.
Launch Your 5G LAN Today
Celona provides enterprise organizations with their own private cellular networks as a seamless turnkey solution. Through the simple yet powerful 5G LAN architecture, organizations can easily deploy plug-and-play hardware throughout their environment to get started in hours, not days.
The 5G LAN solution integrates directly with your existing architecture allowing administrators to easily integrate and synchronize QoS across the enterprise from a cloud-based console. Behind the scenes, the Celona Edge provides proactive monitoring and ensures network service level objectives, such as throughput and latency requirements, are consistently being met.
Celona uses cloud networking principles to make implementing 5G LANs an out-of-box experience. Onboarding can be done alongside existing wireless and IT infrastructure, without interrupting business operations.
If you’re looking to make 5G LAN a part of your business, Celona can help. Check out our network planner to estimate the size of your 5G LAN on private cellular spectrum, or test-drive Celona’s unique solution for yourself with a free trial.
See a Celona 5G LAN in action and learn the basics