Several cities have already built private wireless networks as part of their Smart City and public transit initiatives. When seeking to support autonomous buses and traffic congestion control, a private wireless network brings ultra-reliable, very low-latency connectivity–an essential that is still missing from cellular carrier networks.
Yes, Private wireless networks are the thing
Today’s communication technologies are not suited for the challenges of next-generation, automated transit. Based on unlicensed frequency ranges, common Wi-Fi (802.11) is well suited to day-to-day business communications. But because it is contention-based, Wi-Fi offers only limited reliability and mobility–key factors for success in mission-critical operational and business applications.
LTE and 4G networks present an alternative to Wi-Fi. Companies including Qualcomm, Nokia, AT&T, and Ligado, are still selling the idea of private LTE networks. Yet, building private LTE networks for utilities, cities, and manufacturing facilities has proven to be very expensive and complex to deploy, operate, and maintain.
It is still not common to see private wireless networks, but this is starting to change. Technologies that support private wireless networks and do not depend on Wi-Fi or cellular are being used when efficiency, safety or profitability depends on ultra-reliable, low-latency connectivity. An example of successful private wireless network implementation is Port of Los Angeles, which aims to use its network to better track the millions of shipments it handles each year.
What do you get with the private wireless network?
One critical benefit of the private wireless network is ultra-high reliability to prevent costly–and often dangerous–downtime. Mission-critical applications require ultra-robust communications without downtime. Predictable performance is another major benefit and demand of mission- and business-critical applications. Consistent high data rates and very low latency with fast and secure roaming are common application demands for connected machines, applications, and workers. High mobility enables advanced applications to run on mobile assets with fast and secure handovers even at the high speeds. Ultra-low latency adds the ability to support even the most demanding command-and-control applications.
What are the private wireless network applications?
Industrial-grade private wireless solutions can help cities increase next-generation automation, ensure safety and security, and improve efficiency and productivity. Smart Cities initiatives that aim to control traffic congestion, guide emergency vehicles, and add support for connected and even autonomous buses all place high demands on existing or potential wireless networks. The right network will bring enhanced safety, efficiency, and rider satisfaction to these initiatives. With an unknown and unpredictable 5G future, there is no need to wait–cities have an alternative that is available today, is secure and is a best fit.