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August 23, 2022

Spectrum efficiency: Making the most of private networks

In our last installment on the topic, we looked at how to tackle spectrum efficiency in the telecoms space. In this blog, we drill down into some of the practicalities of how we can tackle this issue looking now at private networks. Although momentum on the topic is growing across the world, the US market is leading the way, showing how businesses can make the most of private networks. With this in mind, John Pinckert, Sales and Business Development Manager at RFS, looks at how the private networks market is developing and how to address spectrum efficiency from the get-go.

John Pinckert, RFS Sales and Business Development Manager
TAGS : SPECTRUM, PRIVATE WIRELESS NETWORKS

Enterprise evolution

As the demands on enterprise networks grow it is imperative to have a solution that is able to scale easily, prioritize data traffic, and support new use cases as they become available. Traditionally, enterprises have relied on in-house Wi-Fi or purchased services from wireless service providers and/or deployed in-building DAS.  As the needs of the network grow and the diversity of end users and IoT devices expands, being able to allocate and manage your own carrier grade wireless network will become increasingly important. This has led to a significantly increased interest in private networks. 

For some enterprises that are growing increasingly dependent on IoT and Industry 4.0 to optimize processes and run the tightest possible ship, connectivity is at the absolute core of their businesses, and they must get it right. There are a range of connectivity options, but a number have significant challenges. Wi-Fi for example can have latency, coverage, and performance issues as the system gets overloaded. Even with purchased services from a carrier, limits exist depending on what the carrier can offer at the time, with limitations on how the network can be molded to suit the needs of a particular enterprise.

The rise of private networks

Where those compromises simply cannot work the alternative is to put in place a Private LTE network. This has 10-20x the user capacity of Wi-Fi and will increase significantly as private 5G takes off. It also has the ability to prioritize different types of traffic through QoS and Network Slicing to support the dynamic requirements of networks today and those coming in the future.  It puts the enterprise firmly in control of their own network and in a position to use the full potential of their allocated spectrum.

There are a number of industries set to benefit from the enhanced connectivity offered by private networks. This ranges from healthcare, to oil and gas, to manufacturing and automotive. Each has a business case driving the need for private networks and delivered in the right way, has the potential to generate significant ROI.

The value of an expert

As those enterprises now look to make the most of owning their own network, they must ensure it is optimized to reap the benefits of a private carrier grade network. It is crucial that the resources they have are optimized from the outset. 

Private networks are a significant investment for businesses. That said, when harnessed correctly, the capabilities of a private network offer a significantly more cost-effective way to deliver connectivity when, for example, compared with the costs of building out a Wi-Fi network to a comparable level. This is where working with an RF expert can pay dividends for businesses using private networks. They understand the potential pitfalls, the latest trends, and opportunities and how to best optimize a network for the use case in question. 

From navigating potential interference issues, to ensuring complete coverage it is vital when installing network infrastructure to leverage all relevant expertise to make the best possible decisions. This spans from coverage mapping to security best practice and aims to alleviate any difficulties that could hamper ROI.

How can RFS help

RFS has been designing and deploying networks for decades and has been through each technology evolution. We understand each customers’ network needs are unique and requires care and attention to detail to ensure the final deployment meets and exceeds customer expectations. We work with partners to offer a full turnkey Private Wireless Network that can be tailored to suit any use case or environment.

Conclusion

A recent blog from Mobile World Live predicted that 2022 would be either the year that we see private networks break out or remain stuck on a ‘hamster wheel of hype’. It is a fair assessment, and the deciding factor will be if we see the success stories that demonstrate the full possibilities of the technology. By working with an RF specialist partner, enterprises significantly improve their chance of a successful deployment that allows them to see the rapid ROI needed to view private networks as a technology that has come into its own.