Basics of Celona RAN for Pervasive Private Cellular Coverage

Not all private cellular radios are created equal in how friendly they are to software-defined provisioning
Private Mobile Network Blog
5G LAN

All private mobile networks require wireless infrastructure components, as 4G LTE or 5G access points, in order to enable seamless connectivity for mobile and IoT devices within the enterprise. How you get there has been defined in many ways but until the arrival of the emerging 5G LAN technology, it continued to be a mystery for many enterprises.

The system of cellular access points, known as a Radio Access Network (RAN), ensures that devices can operate without losing signal to the cellular wireless network, and that they can move around indoor and outdoor coverage area with seamless mobility / handover between access points within the network.

Enterprise customers require that their access points are smart and powerful enough to provide connectivity to wide ranging model and type of devices, without requiring separate physical installation design depending on evolving use cases. It is critical that the “airtime” is managed and controlled per QoS policies defined for different device groups and applications.

How does Celona access points work?

Celona RAN is made up of Celona’s indoor and outdoor cellular access points. Via predictive RF designs, IT administrators and Celona’s go-to-market partners can identify the ideal locations (height, orientation, indoor/outdoor coordinates, etc) where they need to installed – similar to an enterprise Wi-Fi LAN installation. Post-installation, via automated tools provided by Celona or other active site survey solutions, the coverage and performance of the wireless connectivity offered by Celona 5G LAN can be validates.  

Celona APs are all powered by Celona OS, industry’s first network operating system that translate cellular wireless operations over the air to enterprise local area networks (LAN).

Once installed, the access points use domain proxy functionality within Celona Edge to automatically request access to private spectrum, such as CBRS in the United States. Each Celona AP comes integrated with required licensing and approvals to gain access to private spectrum options, without requiring a separate purchasing by end customers or Celona’s go-to-market partners.

Within a Celona 5G LAN, its access points are installed plug and play and are designed to download their configuration via the Celona platform in real-time. There is no need to manually configure them one by one, accelerating their deployments within a site and across many sites.

Via Celona Orchestrator, Celona access points within a Celona customer account are visible to the IT administrators at the time of the order: they can be pre-provisioned, assigned to individual sites and assigned specific network configuration even before they are physically installed, further accelerating their rollout within the enterprise. New Celona APs that are added to an existing network will automatically receive their configuration and start contributing to increased coverage and capacity of the Celona 5G LAN.

Celona RAN: How does it work?

How do competitors RAN solutions differ from Celona’s?

All private and public mobile networks require their own RAN to function and provide services to connected devices and end users. A common method used in public mobile networks – that do not necessarily translate to enterprise networks – is to manually configure each radio within the RAN based on static device density and application performance requirements.

This approach to RF design and configuration might work for millions of subscribers, all utilizing similar patterns of data and voice traffic access, it does not play well with dynamic enterprise environments where multitude of application requirements might arrive at the doorstep of enterprise networking teams as they rollout private 4G LTE and 5G networks.

One of the main strengths for Celona indoor access points in comparison to others is its ability to take advantage of PoE+ (802.3at) switches. Many others require the use of PoE++ (802.3bt) switches to be able to power up their indoor APs, slowing down indoor private cellular adoption and increasing its cost. While PoE++ switches are becoming more common, the majority of enterprises currently use PoE+ switches with their existing network architecture.

Another key differentiating factor between Celona Access Points and other competitors’ approaches is the necessity of dedicated cabling and network infrastructure components for proper functionality within a enterprise deployment. As part of a Celona 5G LAN, Celona access points are designed to use existing switches at the access layer and the existing set of L2/L3 configuration – allowing for quick up time and re-use of the network resources.

Celona Access Points: How are they different?

What are the benefits of a Celona 5G LAN to customers?

A Celona network, including both indoor and outdoor AP units, comes in one, simple product subscription bundle - removing additional costs and the need for 3rd party vendor components. This ensures that customers will have all the hardware necessary to install the private mobile network for immediate use across an entire campus, deployed as an overlay within their existing enterprise LAN.

Once the AP hardware is installed, Celona’s network OS automatically provisions all the APs with the IP forwarding and policy rules across device and application groups. Customers can have the peace of mind knowing that all requirements set within Celona’s cloud-hosted network operations portal, Celona Orchestrator, will pushed down to the Celona APs automatically, as they come online. Via this software defined architecture, their configuration can be changed dynamically by the Celona network OS (e.g. channel and frequency allocations) or on-demand via IT administrators during moves, adds and changes.

All in all, this provides significant savings in operational expense as a private 4G and 5G wireless connectivity is rolled out within the enterprise.

Celona 5G LAN is also designed to be future proof, allowing for easy upgrades of current and future network architectures over time: with the arrival of new model and types of access points, same Celona network operating system (OS) and management workflows via Celona Orchestrator can be supported. A single Celona network can eventually be made up of multiple generations of access point hardware, while sharing common network and policy configurations across device groups and applications.

Celona Access Points: What are the customer benefits?

See the Celona MicroSlicing in action by tuning in for an on-demand demo, request a custom demo or a free trial. And, to keep in touch with the rest of our community of customers, ecosystem and technology partners, join us at the Frequency Community.

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