This article first appeared on LinkedIn.
I am excited to join Celona as the Director of Solutions Engineering to help customers realize the business value that private LTE and 5G can create within their organizations. Wireless network diversity for private enterprises will utilize the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band, leveraging the best aspects of both public cellular and private Wi-Fi networks to create greater value for customers.
Wireless technologies have been on a 20-year rise of rapid innovation and adoption. Advances in radio communications have enabled business transformation in multiple industries. Organizations are leveraging workforce mobility, realizing process efficiencies, and developing entirely new business operating models. The successes of both public cellular networks and private Wi-Fi networks have been undeniable.
These successes have also largely come without flexibility to match distinct business needs to the underlying technology in order to deliver the appropriate service levels required for different applications, processes, or end-user experiences. Until now, businesses have been sandboxed into choosing one or the other, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages. However, recent regulatory and technical advancements enabling private LTE and 5G deployments are poised to disrupt these markets by offering greater choice and control through wireless network diversity.
Businesses need a solution to leverage the strengths of both Wi-Fi and cellular without having to compromise. The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band will accomplish just that, enabling the next-generation of wireless innovation.
Public cellular networks operate on licensed spectrum, offering high service levels, high performance, and high-speed mobility. The closed nature of licensed spectrum has required large capital investment for buildout and deployment of outdoor macro cellular networks by mobile network operators (MNOs), resulting in much higher cost of adoption by private businesses. In addition, the system architecture developed by MNOs to operate outdoor macro cellular networks is not well suited to tackle private business needs for internal operations, security controls, and low-latency application performance.
Private Wi-Fi networks operate on unlicensed spectrum, offering accessibility both in terms of low-cost and labor required for deployment, high performance, and a system architecture designed for private networking to enable internal business operations and security controls. This accessibility also means that Wi-Fi can only offer minimal service level guarantees, which have only grown more frustrating as adoption has exploded. Wi-Fi excels indoors with small cell deployments, meeting the demand for data hungry users and applications. But it is not particularly well suited to outdoor environments, especially where high speed mobility is required due to protocol choices made over 20 years ago and strict adherence to backwards compatibility.
The CBRS band offers multiple advantages because it offers cleaner spectrum than unlicensed bands and implements a tiered licensing model. Congestion will not be as pronounced as unlicensed spectrum bands because organizations will continue leveraging Wi-Fi for general wireless uses-cases where service levels are not demanding, including bulk internal and Internet application traffic, and will selectively target business applicationsthat require higher service levels for deployment in the CBRS band. The tiered licensing model offers accessibility to licensed spectrum for private organizations and is composed of three distinct tiers of service:
- Incumbent Access provides protection for federal and fixed satellite services.
- Priority Access Licenses (PAL) are available to organizations desiring exclusive use. These licenses are sold on a county-by-county basis in 10 MHz blocks for a period of 10 years and are renewable. Up to 70 MHz of the band may be sold in any given county (out of 150 MHz total in the band).
- General Authorized Access (GAA) provides access to the remaining 80 MHz of the band for all users, offering accessibility at much lower cost.
Celona will offer network diversity to organizations by leveraging the CBRS band for private LTE and 5G deployment. By combining the advantages of Wi-Fi and cellular, made possible by a new shared spectrum regulatory paradigm, Celona will enable businesses to deploy private cellular networks alongside existing Wi-Fi networks for targeted mission-critical business applications requiring higher service level guarantees, high-speed mobility, and industrial IoT. Celona delivers this through an innovative system architecture that provides edge services that enterprises require, coupled with cloud orchestration and artificial intelligence (AI) for ease-of-use and scalability. Celona also simplifies the adoption of cellular technology by offering a complete solution for private CBRS deployment, encompassing the radio access network (RAN), system architecture evolution (SAE), cloud AI and orchestration, SIM credential management, and Spectrum Access System (SAS) integration.
To learn more about the private LTE and 5G in the enterprise, join our upcoming webinar series covering Enterprise Cellular on CBRS, where our CTO and co-founder Mehmet Yavuz will review the fundamentals of LTE and 5G wireless and relevant use cases in the enterprise. I'll be there as well to answer questions.