The Positive Impact of Private Wireless Networks on Connectivity
Building owners can leave public cellular networks and mobile carriers behind by setting up their own private network. Learn more about the impacts of private wireless networks in our blog.
Mobile networks today carry almost 300 times more traffic than they did just over a decade ago. And, so far, most of this growth has occurred indoors over carrier networks.
To ensure device connectivity amid this growing influx of traffic, there’s an option for building owners to leave public cellular networks and mobile carriers behind. Instead, they can set up their own private network—one that only their organization or facility can access.
These private wireless networks give companies and institutions the chance to individually deploy, own and operate connectivity systems, relying on a blend of LTE and 5G networks. In the United States, for example, private wireless networks operate within the (CBRS) Citizens Broadband Radio Service and C-Band spectrum.
Private networks are also attractive to enterprises that want to control their own bandwidth distribution. For example:
- A school district may decide to deploy a private network to support virtual schooling across certain parts of a community if broadband providers don’t offer adequate coverage.
- A large company may want to eliminate the costs associated with carrier service and set up a private wireless network to support collaboration and communication applications across its corporate campus.
- An industrial automation environment may want to adopt a private wireless network so it can prioritize connectivity for latency-sensitive production lines over everything else.
- A hospital may decide on private wireless to enable the secure use of devices used in its facility every day, ensuring that the systems and applications used by clinicians and staff aren’t bogged down by devices brought in by patients and visitors.
Private wireless networks are already making an impact across the United States. Here are some of the biggest changes we’ve seen as a result so far.
1. Wireless connectivity moves deeper into the country
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the vast majority of the United States (97%) is considered “rural.” And nearly one-fifth of Americans currently live in these rural areas of America. Certain portions of the U.S. rural population still contend with a lack of dependable, affordable connectivity.
Private wireless can unlock opportunities to bring broadband to these underserved areas, integrating disconnected communities into our ever-changing world so they aren’t left behind. Students in rural areas can learn online from anywhere. Adults can search for, train for and even complete jobs at home. Families can get access to much-needed telehealth services.
As U.S. government funding for broadband investments continues to grow, we anticipate even more demand for private wireless networks.
2. Last-Mile fiber has alternatives
One of the biggest reasons why rural areas still lack broadband access is due to the difficulty of bringing fiber networks—which are often needed for last-mile connectivity—into these environments.
While fiber deployment requires underground infrastructure installation, deployment of a private wireless network does not. Outdoor antennas and indoor Wi-Fi can be used instead. This makes the installation process more practical than last-mile fiber in many cases.
Private wireless is faster to deploy
Because underground infrastructure installation isn’t required, private wireless networks can be faster to design and deploy. They may support faster data speeds, too. In a public network, data traffic travels to a central network in another location. Private wireless network traffic doesn’t do that, which improves speed by reducing latency.
Private wireless is more cost-effective (in some cases)
Depending on network design and setup, private wireless can be more cost-effective than Wi-Fi. For example, it can reduce the number of access points required to achieve the same level of coverage, which lowers installation costs, maintenance costs and total cost of ownership.
3. Connectivity and performance is improving in congested spaces
Private wireless networks ensure reliable connections in environments that traditionally struggle with connectivity (think a packed stadium or overcrowded airport).
Because private wireless networks are closed, dedicated systems used by a sole organization or operator, they don’t see the amount of traffic that public wireless networks do. Only authorized devices are able to connect to a private network.
OnGo NHN, a standards-based solution from the OnGo Alliance, enables neutral hosts to live alongside traditional carrier networks. This means CBRS spectrum can be used for private wireless networks to add capacity to environments already being serviced by those traditional carriers.
Building owners can incorporate services from multiple wireless operators or support their own network while offering a traditional carrier network.
Your private network starts here
Belden offers everything you need to create an intelligent infrastructure that supports private wireless networks. Beyond products and systems, we also offer training and education. Check out our resources to learn more about designing in-building wireless systems or explore our application guides.
- Where Private Wireless Networks Work Best: 5 Use Cases
- Are You Ready for the Era of Private Wireless Networks?
- Effective In-Building Wireless Design Relies on Interoperability