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Private networks for business critical processes

The current mobile standard – 4G or LTE – has been widely adopted by the general public and, increasingly, by companies as well. LTE is increasingly used to support critical business processes with mobile voice and data.

Private mobile network

Mission Critical & Private NetworksMobile applications within companies can vary from voice to data and images, from sensor information to process control, from ambulatory consultation of patient records in a hospital to remote control of vehicles in a port.
When companies use mobile communication for all their processes, it is crucial that this way of communication is reliable. This requires a technology that is proven to be robust and able to cope with moving users. The network or service also requires very high data availability, reliability and security. LTE has been specifically designed for this purpose.

Other desired performances or KPIs may include:

  • a guaranteed maximum signal duration (‘latency’), e.g. in the case of vehicle control or for remote medical operations;
  • a guaranteed bandwidth, including for applications that support a business process with a lot of data, such as image transmission for remote control.

Spectrum

However, it is difficult, if not impossible, to guarantee the performance of a network if it does not have a guaranteed and shielded spectrum. On a shared spectrum (such as Wi-Fi and LoRa), the mobile service provider or owner is not guaranteed to have the frequencies for its service, which makes KPIs virtually impossible.
However, it is possible to guarantee the performance of a mobile network on a proprietary spectrum.

Therefore, the solution that fits this is a proprietary network on a proprietary spectrum. This way, the performance is optimal and guaranteed! In the Netherlands there are two frequency domains that are kept separate by the government specifically for corporate mobile networks.With an LTE network on such a ‘lightly licensed’ spectrum, an even higher reliability and performance of a private LTE network can be guaranteed.

Germany has recently done the same and countries such as Sweden and the UK are considering such options. So proprietary mobile networks are being broadly considered.

Citizen Band Radio Service

The model of private spectrum for local and proprietary networks is already being widely applied in the USA as they introduced the Citizen Band Radio Service (CBRS). In this model, a spectrum that was originally for the Department of Defense – and partly still is – has been made available for private and local networks. A special licencing model ensures that every user can apply and receive an allocation on an equal basis. There are several levels of prioritisation (depending on the importance of the target group).

The comparison with our Dutch situation is striking and this CBRS could well be a forerunner of what private spectrum can lead to. The CBRS regime was opened at the end of this year and many providers have already thrown themselves at it. Therefore, it is generally expected that CBRS will lead to a wide range of equipment and services (the so-called ecosystem). In turn, the Netherlands and Europe are expected to benefit from this, because the frequencies are fairly close to each other.

Private LTE for your business

With the help of the frequency band available in the Netherlands, Cellnex is able to offer proprietary LTE networks and services. From financing to network management, it is all arranged on a full service basis. Ask about the possibilities for your organisation.