Focus on private LTE networks sharpens with emergence of CBRS, Multefire options

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The business case for private LTE networks is developing for enterprises as well as rural carriers and wireless internet service providers.

Enterprises in several large industries, from health care to manufacturing and transportation hubs, often want to control their own wireless networks to ensure high levels of security and low latency for their mission-critical operations. With new spectrum options and innovative protocols becoming available, enterprises can now build their own private LTE networks, provision client devices and create new services.

Wireless internet service providers, rural broadband carriers and competitive service providers also may seek to leverage these new spectrum options and technology developments to increase mobility, gain access to neutral host networks for enterprises, strengthen security and improve quality of service. These providers are focused on the business model and return on investment to offer fast and reliable licensed services to replace or augment their DSL and fixed wireless access networks.

Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum at 3.5 GHz is one spectrum option enterprises and competitive carriers are looking to for potential private LTE networks. The FCC adopted a report and order in 2015 that established the CBRS band and established rules for shared wireless broadband use.

The FCC has outlined a three-tiered priority system for sharing of the spectrum with first priority going to incumbent military users, second priority going to Priority Access License (PAL) users and third priority going to General Authorized Access (GAA) users. The Spectrum Access System (SAS) is an advanced, highly automated radio spectrum coordinator within the CBRS band and is tasked with protecting the higher-tier users from lower-tier users and optimizing efficient use of the available spectrum in the band for all users. The innovative, three-tier sharing framework coordinates spectrum across the incumbent military radars, satellite earth stations and new commercial users.

The MulteFire protocol is another recent development that is expected to facilitate deployment of private LTE networks. MulteFire can be used to deploy a neutral host network and facilitate a seamless user experience while extending value across the ecosystem. A private and neutral host LTE with MulteFire can be seen as a mechanism by which carriers, operators and venue owners connect end users and enterprise applications more efficiently.

Speakers from BEC TechnologiesBoingoNokiaMonetti & AssociatesWinnForumAmerican TowerOpen BroadbandFederated WirelessComSearch will explore CBRS, MulteFire and the emergence of Private LTE networks during six sessions at Connectivity Expo, May 21–24 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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