Why private cellular networks are being chosen over Wi-Fi

Private LTE, or private cellular networks, are rapidly emerging as a solution for the augmentation and even replacement of Wi-Fi in enterprise networks.

Geoff Burns

14/02/2020

When people think of quick and reliable connectivity, they’re often drawn to Wi-Fi.

After all, Wi-Fi is one of the most common and reliable ways to get online in a world that’s becoming increasingly mobile. When your team members need to ensure that they’re not “plugged in” to an ethernet cable wherever they go, Wi-Fi offers that versatile connectivity.

However, it’s far from the only way to connect to the web.

Private LTE, or private cellular networks, are rapidly emerging as a solution for the augmentation and even replacement of Wi-Fi in enterprise networks. The market for private cellular networks is predicted to grow rapidly in the next decade, capturing the eye of enterprise-level organisations everywhere.

The rise of private cellular networks

Private cellular networks are often referred to as Private LTE.

LTE means “Long term evolution”. It basically means that you get a standards-based network created just for your organisation, that takes advantage of mobile internet.

So, why are people loving this new form of connectivity?

Well, there are many reasons.

Big companies generally like private LTE networks as they give you a more scalable, secure, and resilient solution when tested against conventional Wi-Fi connectivity. A large energy company, for instance, might use private cellular networks to optimise its connectivity strategy to fight against low latency and access high-level security. Wi-Fi couldn’t provide this – nor could it protect the business against disruptions caused by other networks.

Turning to private LTE means that the company could incorporate non-public servers and cell sites to support the specific requirements of each company, without the need for compromise. This ensures that the business can get an experience that’s better than anything they would usually get from most service providers. What’s more, the private cellular network can also exist inside the corporate firewall.

The benefits of private cellular networks

The benefits of private cellular networks can be astronomical in the right circumstances.

We’re entering an era where connectivity is more important than ever. As employees demand to stay connected wherever they go, they need a mobile link that they can rely on to keep them signed into the internet. While private cellular networks haven’t replaced Wi-Fi everywhere yet, they’re gaining traction.

In some areas, more than others, private LTE promises a higher selection of benefits than any Wi-Fi option. For instance, in farming businesses, fleets, and offices where high-quality Wi-Fi connections aren’t available, most companies will still be able to access a private cell connection.

Private LTE can be deployed virtually anywhere. That includes environments that are outside of the reach of traditional public carriers. What’s more, if you’re a business that needs to adhere to very strict regulatory standards, your private network means that you can keep your data on-site for security reasons. Private LTE can even be optimised according to your standards to handle traffic types that have their own unique requirements.

Private LTE benefits

Where Wi-Fi might be susceptible to issues like limited geographical reach or spectrum noise and interference, Private LTE continues to perform at incredible standards. This doesn’t mean that businesses need to disregard Wi-Fi altogether, particularly as connectivity options continue to evolve. However many businesses will find better results by moving outside of the restrictions implemented by Wi-Fi once and for all.

Exploring the opportunities of private cellular networks

Private LTE or private cellular networks are well-suited to a variety of environments. If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of HD video surveillance for your company’s security for instance, then Private LTE will ensure that you never lose a connection.

In a world where IoT and remote tool control is becoming increasingly popular, LTE can also assist with maintaining mission-critical connections. The last thing you need when you’re recording important data from an IoT sensor is a Wi-Fi problem.

Many businesses are also exploring the benefits of private LTE for public safety vehicles and mobile kiosk connectivity. Mobile security teams can even use the technology to ensure that they always have a way to stay connected when emergencies take place.

One of our clients here at Nice Network took advantage of the private cellular network to enhance the performance of their industrial business. The steel walls inside of the product manufacturing plant meant that it was difficult to maintain a Wi-Fi connection at different points throughout the business. Lost connections meant that not only could staff members not communicate effectively, but it was impossible for the business to embrace new IoT tools too.
In the industrial landscape, using private LTE allowed the business to access better coverage, capacity, and quality of service. According to the CIO for the company: “Implementing a new private cellular network meant that we could achieve lower, more predictable latency levels for connectivity. It also allowed us to explore new opportunities with connected tools, robotics, and machines.”

Private cellular networks mean that companies no longer have to work with the restrictions of Wi-Fi in geographic areas where strong connectivity isn’t accessible. In the future, the rise of 5G connectivity to enhance the mobile landscape will make this opportunity more engaging than ever.

The future of private cellular networks

Various companies from a multitude of different industries have already begun to discover for themselves just how valuable private cellular networks can be. However, many experts agree that the rise of new connectivity options like 5G could make LTE even more of an exciting opportunity.

Already, companies rely on private LTE to eliminate issues like lag and latency.

Add the natural benefits and optimisation options with private cellular networks to the potential of 5G for speeding up connections, and companies could potentially have the ultimate connectivity environment – no wires or cords required.

5G private cellular networks are sure to overcome the latency and connection problems that have held businesses back from embedding a true mobile landscape for years. After all, 5G is set to deliver everything from fibre-like broadband speed, to low network latencies and so much more.

With 5G behind their private networks, companies will be able to go beyond exploring disruptive technology like IoT and start looking into things like augmented and virtual reality too!

Hospitals helping remote patients could use their 5G tools to have 4K video conferences with clients, allowing for an in-depth visual examination from a distance – and in real-time.

Geoff Burns Private LTE

Introducing Private LTE

As mentioned above, one of the reasons why private cellular networks are growing in popularity lately, is that they’re increasingly easy to access. Not only do traditional mobile providers offer private LTE connections, but you can find the system you need from a dedicated third-party too.

Nice Network can deliver a private cellular network and create custom solutions for companies that need to deal with issues like frequency disruptions and slow connectivity.

We’ll help you tailor the mobile connectivity strategy that’s perfect for you – even if that means combining the power of private LTE and Wi-Fi.

Keen to find out more about our Private LTE offering? Contact the Nice Network team today!