What Is Private 5G?
5G is the fifth generation of cellular wireless technology, designed to increase transmission speed, network capacity, and reduce latency of data transfer to / from connected devices. Enterprises can directly take advantage by implementing their own private 5G service.
Why Does Private 5G Matter for Enterprises?
Private 5G can be designed to bring two key advantages to an enterprise: independence from commercial carriers, improved data privacy and overall increased performance within their facilities. The combination here allows businesses to scale their own cellular wireless services more quickly and reliably than ever without being restricted by a commercial network.
From a technical perspective, 5G brings many benefits to the market that improve existing 4G technologies. These improvements in speed, reliability, and capacity will help organizations support thousands of mission-critical applications that demand the highest level of availability and response time.
Private 5G offers the following:
- Low latency under 20 milliseconds round-trip,
- Up to 1Gbps data transfer rate,
- High density for device connectivity,
- Interference-free wireless connectivity, and
- Critical application support at predictable service levels.
Latency is how long it takes for a signal to travel from a source to a receiver and then back again. If you’ve ever had choppy video, lagging audio, or slow downloads, you’ve likely experienced high latency.
Private 5G will provide low-latency connectivity for live streaming video and real-time device communication without a noticeable delay. Businesses can use 5G to view live wireless surveillance streams, operate robotics, and control autonomous vehicles in real-time. IoT (Internet of Things) sensors will be able to check in and receive updates faster than before, translating to improvements in predictive monitoring and statistical data analysis.
Private 5G will enable businesses to transfer large amounts of data faster than ever before.
System administrators could orchestrate data replication, incremental backups, and offsite disaster recovery over a dedicated 5G connection.
Departments could share large work files from the office to staff at remote worksites in just a few minutes, and remote assist applications that rely on large data transfers can operate at much faster rates.
5G supports low-power applications by consuming less energy during transmissions and offering an extended battery life on mobile devices. Remote sensors and devices could last as long as ten years on a single battery while in operation. Researchers are also making breakthroughs in antenna technology that can use 5G signals to charge smaller devices.
These energy improvements will help enterprises maintain devices and sensors for longer in more remote locations. Industries such as agriculture and mining can leverage private 5G to keep applications in rural areas accessible for longer.
One of the most significant changes 5G brings to the market is the number of devices it can support. With much improved capacity metrics compared to that of 4G, private 5G will enable businesses to manage hundreds or even thousands of devices seamlessly across their facilities.
From supply-chain management to proactive maintenance, companies won’t be limited in capacity when choosing which devices to monitor. 5G enables businesses to scale from a dozen devices to thousands without being locked into expensive commercial commitments that are part of public mobile network contracts.
Private 5G Use Cases
While the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles and drones is still a ways away, businesses can use 5G to enhance their operations alongside enterprise Wi-Fi networks and existing public mobile network services.
By operating in an interference-free medium, a private 5G network can improve the productivity of hospital staff dramatically: for instance, by allowing doctors to access real-time health metrics of their patients and receive automated alerts based on their patient’s condition. Wearable and mobile devices can help provide live monitoring of a patient’s condition while also securely storing that data in their medical records.
Manufacturers can use 5G paired with artificial intelligence to implement computer vision applications and automated robotics infrastructure to reduce downtime, and monitor key production insights in real-time. Businesses that rely on large factory floors or multiple facilities can easily provide reliable coverage through the use of private 5G cellular.
College campuses can sprawl hundreds of acres, making technologies such as Wi-Fi costly for blanket coverage outdoors. 5G enables colleges to build strategic mobile services that cover the entire campus. Private 5G enables separate communication over the network, creating multiple secure channels for facility services, physical safety applications and staff communications.
5G and the CBRS spectrum band
Use of private 5G within enterprise facilities in the United States without requiring expensive commercial contracts with public mobile network operators (MNOs) is made possible through the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum band.
The CBRS band is a section of radio spectrum allocated by the FCC for commercial use. The CBRS band features built-in protections that shield devices from interfering with one another. CBRS spectrum is separated into three tiers: Incumbents, Priority Access (PAL), and General Authorized Access (GAA).
Businesses looking to build their own private mobile network can operate on either the PAL or GAA tiers of the CBRS band. PAL licenses can be acquired through CBRS auctions or purchased on a secondary market. Alternatively, companies can operate on the GAA tier by simplifying deploying a CBRS capable cellular wireless infrastructure such as Celona’s, and let the infrastructure manage spectrum access by interfacing with FCC certified systems.
While CBRS spectrum can support 5G services, it isn’t exclusively for fifth-generation technology. Companies can use the CBRS band to build mobile networks that are also powered by 4G LTE technology. Many businesses can start building mobile networks using 4G technology and then transition to 5G as it becomes available. Both 4G and 5G technology can be used within the same enterprise indoor and outdoor facility simultaneously.
Private 5G networks use similar access point / radio hardware to enterprise Wi-Fi. Wall- and ceiling-mounted indoor access points provide coverage indoors (up to 25K sqft) while more powerful outdoor radios can support device connectivity across very large areas (up to 1M sqft). On the back-end, network maintenance, device configuration, and application service-level agreements (SLAs) can all be automated.
Going Beyond The Edge
For many years businesses have been limited by patchwork solutions across the application layer that attempt to unify on-premise and cloud-based applications using virtual machines. This has created an overly complex environment with multiple policies and configurations that make it challenging to apply global changes quickly across the enterprise.
The advent of 5G has presented an opportunity for businesses to take a new edgeless enterprise approach that consolidates the compute platform for critical enterprise applications and network services within unified platforms. Wherever the applications show up, network services can also be instantiated. This brand new approach promises to unify policy and configuration changes throughout the wired LAN, Wi-Fi LAN and private 5G cellular.
Simply put, private 5G creates an opportunity for companies to shed their edge services for a leaner, more cost-effective network architecture that reduces complexity and improves services at scale - and go edgeless in the way network and app services are delivered.
The Celona Solution
Celona partners with enterprise organizations to provide private LTE and 5G services as a seamless turnkey solution. Celona’s unique 5G LAN solution utilizes cloud networking principles designed for enterprise environments and AI powered automation to make implementing private mobile networks an out-of-box experience. Onboarding can be done alongside existing wireless and IT infrastructure, without interrupting business operations.
Plug-and-play cellular access points can be quickly deployed throughout the campus, while proactive monitoring ensures network SLAs such as throughput and latency requirements are consistently being met.
If you’re building your network for the future, we can help. Check out our network planner to estimate the size of your CBRS powered private LTE network, or test drive the Celona 5G LAN Solution for yourself through our free trial.