What Is Enterprise LTE?
Enterprise LTE is a private wireless local area network (LAN) that is tailored to an organization’s specific needs. This offers the organization seamless connectivity within a wide-range, low-latency, and highly secure network.
What Is LTE?
Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a standard for cellular communications that acts as an upgrade path for carriers leading up to a new generation of service. Many of us are familiar with 4G LTE, which is a standard much faster than 3G but not quite as fast as true 4G. LTE comes in multiple varieties transmitting across various bands of the radio spectrum.
In the past, to obtain 4G LTE, consumers and businesses would need to choose a carrier, such as AT&T or Verizon, to access a cellular network. For many individuals, this is fine, but for companies relying on a commercial carrier, this relationship isn’t always the best. Unexpected fees, strict contracts, and lack of control are just a few pain points businesses experience when using commercial networks.
How Is Enterprise LTE Different?
Enterprise LTE is different from carrier-controlled LTE because the enterprise owns the network. Enterprise networks own their own radios, mobile core software, management platforms, SIM cards, and infrastructure. This gives enterprises unmatched reliability and control over their network and data.
How users access the LTE service is the same on both commercial and enterprise networks. What changes is the level of control enterprises have over their resources, ensuring critical applications receive the resources they need.
Until recently, there was no way for enterprises to build their own cellular networks. This was a problem for industries, such as healthcare and manufacturing, that need certain levels of performance for different applications. For example, hospitals may need to prioritize cellular resources for life-saving equipment and patient monitoring sensors.
Manufacturers have different needs but require the same level of granular control over their network. IoT sensors monitoring valve pressure require certain latency and throughput requirements to work effectively. In an enterprise LTE setting, both organizations can create custom service-level agreements (SLAs) to meet their demands.
Through advancements in mobile technology and the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum, businesses can create networks that suit their needs.
How Does Enterprise LTE Work?
An enterprise LTE network has multiple components, but it all starts with acquiring the right licensing. Recently, the FCC has designated a range of cellular spectrum for private and business use. Enterprise LTE is made possible by purchasing space on the CBRS spectrum, which allows organizations to broadcast on specific frequencies on a county-by-county basis.
Enterprises start by leasing space on the spectrum through CBRS auctions or secondhand marketplaces. Leasing space on the CBRS network guarantees spectrum availability and provides built-in mechanics to prevent signal interference.
The level of coverage for enterprise LTE is flexible through a mix of indoor and outdoor access points. Enterprises can even connect their neighboring offices through roof-mounted antennas if needed.
Enterprise LTE supports both company-owned devices and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments. There are no passwords needed to join the enterprise LTE network. Instead, each device on the network will need to be SIM provisioned to access the service. Provisioning can be done by inserting SIM cards into each device or through eSIM, which only requires devices to scan a QR code.
The Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is at the center of it all, which acts as the command and control center for the network. The EPC can be on premises or hosted elsewhere as a managed service. The EPC provides numerous services, such as data handling, traffic management, and coordinating access to cloud resources if needed.
These are all the same components and operations used by commercial carriers, now wholly accessible to enterprises looking for more control. Laying the groundwork for enterprise LTE helps businesses transition into private 5G and other new cellular standards in the future.
Benefits of Enterprise LTE
Enterprises looking to cover specific areas can now build networks to suit their needs. With the right infrastructure, organizations can provide service to rural areas and other places that aren’t typically covered by commercial networks. Remote mining operations, agriculture, and the oil industry are just a few examples where enterprise LTE can provide coverage where other solutions fall short.
When you own your network, you own your data. Commercial carriers and managed service providers are often a “black box” when it comes to visibility. With enterprise LTE, organizations know exactly where their data is, allowing them to comply with standards such as Payment Card Industry (PCI) and HIPAA more effectively. With SIM provisioning, there’s no password to crack or open networks for intruders to find. The way cellular networks function provides secure communications as a core part of their design.
LTE provides increased reliability to mission-critical applications. By controlling the level of coverage along with customizable SLAs, organizations can ensure reliability and even pair their LTE network with failover systems.
Different wireless technologies are used for different jobs. For instance, Wi-Fi is great for providing network access to offices, while enterprise LTE can support devices at a sold-out baseball stadium. In terms of capacity, enterprise LTE can serve thousands of devices at once with no noticeable lag, dropout, or delay. While not every business needs this level of capacity, many enterprises use LTE to support their campuses and scale quickly.
The Celona Solution
Celona enables network administrators with fine-grained control of bandwidth and latency quality-of-service for groups of Celona private cellular enabled user devices on a per-application basis. In this example, the administrator has configured a Best Effort quality of service for Zoom clients to ensure those users are allocated the radio network resources required for acceptable Zoom communications.
Celona partners with organizations to provide a 5G LAN as a seamless turnkey solution. Celona utilizes edgeless enterprise architecture and cloud-based artificial intelligence 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 devices 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, Celona can help. Check out our private LTE network planner to see what your network would look like on the CBRS spectrum, or test-drive the Celona Solution Architecture for yourself through our free trial.