Just like we were not able to predict the true impact internet, Wi-Fi / mobile and cloud had in the worklife of enterprises worldwide, it is too soon to measure the same for smart machines, IoT and edge compute.
Increasing use of these evolving technologies will continue to automate many industries and business applications – whether they are mobile robots on the factory floor, computer vision systems that enable visibility in places where humans can never go or augmented/virtual reality apps that transform collaboration use cases.
As a direct consequence, the number of digital transformation projects within the enterprise across variety of verticals, the amount of reliability that such projects demand from the underlying network infrastructure, and the level of compliance and security controls relevant applications require, are ever growing.
The use of the machines for business optimization and improved operational workflows are here to stay – although it is not yet clear if the enterprise network infrastructure is ready for the big wave of innovation ahead.
And that, we believe as Celona, calls for innovation. Celona’s is aiming to simplify and scale the adoption of private LTE / 5G wireless technology by enterprises worldwide by taking advantage of a modern technology stack powered by cloud software.
We believe that at the intersection of cellular wireless and cloud software lies the secret to powering next-generation of communication and IoT applications in the enterprise. Service providers who are looking to quickly improve their reach within enterprise environments can take advantage of the flexibility of Celona’s purpose designed network architecture, and deliver an improved total cost of ownership as a result across the board.
In a world where we imagine two wireless technologies – LTE / 5G and Wi-Fi – seamlessly converging and taking their place within enterprise networks, we must note that it is not going to be an easy road ahead. Thankfully challenges bring lots of opportunities and are great cause for Celona technology to step in. Before we review what Celona brings to the table, let’s quickly some of the friction points we have heard so far from enterprise IT teams and the developers of the mission critical applications who work with them.
Use of multiple wireless technologies in the enterprise is not a new idea. Some are dedicated radio technologies that are used for single type of devices and apps but without centralized management or analytics on usage and quality – making it hard to adapt to evolving use case needs. To bridge the gap, Wi-Fi is usually pushed beyond its capabilities in terms of being able to guarantee service level agreement (SLA) metrics per application, offer a clean spectrum for all devices connected to the radio infrastructure, and generally lacks the range in challenging RF environments. LTE / 5G cellular wireless promises a great deal in being able to bridge the gap.
It is only fair to assume that when edge and cloud applications meet with information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems, the cost of acquisition and maintenance of a wireless network in support of that vision needs to stay within the norms of the enterprise IT networking budget.
It is unfortunate as a result to see that long planning cycles and the requirement to integrate a long list of disparate product options from multiple technology vendors are required to deploy private mobile networks within the enterprise – unless of course if enterprise IT/OT teams and their service provider partners decide to take a closer look at what Celona has to offer.
It has to be acknowledged that the technology architecture used in supporting a public LTE service for millions of people vs. the need to enable secure reliable connectivity in the enterprise within a million SQFT are two very different problems.
It’s 2019 and yet a good portion of the networking technology is still engineered without developers in mind – without any options to adapt to their real-time instructions or the ability to share real-time status of the network edge. Application teams are always been asked to "try and see" when they integrate – and are never given a chance to demand a specific set of SLA metric or device specific policy control when on wireless. Enterprise IT teams are no longer satisfied with this status quo as far as we can tell, want easy open access to data at rest and in motion, and demand programmability against the everchanging landscape of applications within their network.
There are three pieces of Celona’s solutions architecture that contributes to addressing the challenges noted above and opens the door for new business opportunities ahead – for service providers and their end customers in enterprise verticals.
Celona Radio Access Network (RAN) that’s ready for software innovation, deliver coverage and quality that challenging RF environments demand, and designed with enterprise IT networking teams in mind.
An extension of the Celona platform to enterprise infrastructures, Celona Edge automates deployment and simplifies ongoing operations for private LTE / 5G networks, and assign enterprise-optimized network slices in real-time to application and service needs. Given wide-variety of application availability needs in the enterprise for smart machines and IoT devices, Celona Edge supports cloud-hosted, managed service, private data center and on-site deployment options.
The face of the Celona platform, Celona Orchestrator allows enterprise IT teams to manage their LTE / 5G networks at scale across many sites, automates application and network policy enforcement by relying on AI/ML techniques that are designed to not just analyze data but also to take action. For service providers, it enables multi-tenant management across multiple enterprise environments and allows for SIM lifecycle management for connected devices at scale.
Celona’s unique solution architecture automatically improves the scale of a network – in software – as new devices and apps demand resources from the network – rather than having to deploy additional racks of servers.
With LTE / 5G wireless accessible within the four walls of the enterprise, IT networking teams who have tried Wi-Fi in challenging environments (e.g. manufacturing, utilities, logistics) with partial success – or the ones who have relied on wired Ethernet connectivity at high cost – will achieve the reliability they are after without breaking the bank on capital and operational budgets.
With Celona, IT teams also get to keep their existing core infrastructure design and components, at the architecture components are deployed as an non-disruptive overlay. Cybersecurity teams who want to ensure privacy of business critical information and security of connected IT/OT infrastructure will give a warm welcome to Celona’s device specific access control capabilities tightly coupled with security controls.
With our secure developer tools, enterprise app providers benefit from being able to tackle mission critical use cases as they extend their reach to smart machines and IoT connectivity via LTE / 5G.
Opportunity for the next generation of services in the enterprise segment is clear – but also requires to embark on a multi-faceted transformation journey. We believe that service providers will have to embrace enterprise friendly business and go to market models, and start planning a migration towards converged private LTE / 5G wireless services at the ever-evolving enterprise edge. A brand new approach with Celona will expand their market opportunity given the relative ease of deployment, extend existing device penetration within enterprise customers and offer service providers an opportunity to increase depth/breadth of their service offerings to enterprises.
Celona leverages cloud-native software in its product offer to allow service providers to deploy and scale new offerings within the enterprise, to easily translate them to existing enterprise infrastructure and policies, and to fuel innovation by developers of next generation of applications leveraging 5G, AI and edge compute. Service providers now has an option to offer rapidly scalable, disruptive, inexpensive alternative to architectures that are traditionally dependent on core services offered by mobile network operators (MNO).
Service providers require a scalable and easily replicable model of creating private and semi-private networks - leveraging licensed, lightly licensed or unlicensed spectrum in different scenarios. Celona’s offer supports all core and other networking services that are required in a true plug-and-play deployment model. It is designed from day one to work seamlessly with existing macro network solutions in terms of device policy management given its support for dual SIM and eSIM capable devices.
A Celona network automates resource and policy assignment to network slices over LTE / 5G. This turns the infrastructure into service delivery platform that can be molded to the needs of the specific enterprise site, business app, IoT or smart machine in a moments notice, via software. This capability in turn enables service providers to create a “cloud like” consumption model for their enterprise customers, allowing them to easily turn on and off services without costly hardware rollouts or extensive operational workloads. For managed service providers, Celona’s architecture is designed to blend/integrate with their existing managed Wi-Fi and SD-WAN projects, offering on premises or edge type solutions in a single kit.
Total cost of service delivery is further lowered by leveraging existing network resources wherever possible – whether it is spectrum, fiber/LAN, RAN or compute as the Celona LTE / 5G network gets reprogrammed on-demand in software. This enables service providers to remove the need for metered connections in order to meet their margin targets and deliver significant savings for new IoT infrastructure projects as they move to non-metered cost structures.
We at Celona believe that connected machines, and the private LTE/5G networks that they will depend on, have the potential to again change the way enterprises do business. Celona private mobile networks are secure by design, deliver application SLA in scale, automate LTE network operators – and are designed with service providers in mind.
Under this new approach, enterprises gain full control for data ownership and moves/adds/changes within the network infrastructure – and service providers get to go beyond tones and waves and deliver a solution that’s optimized for enterprise app QoS/security, one that can be integrated to any enterprise network.
Celona’s new breed of private mobile networks deliver the goods without the overhead and complexity, enable faster path to deploy and increase service revenue footprint across margin sensitive segments that have been overlooked for too long. The simplicity at scale with an integrated cloud networking approach enables service providers to improve gross margins with an easy to scale/manage solution, instead of trying to force fit solutions that were designed for public cellular.
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