The Private LTE Opportunity for
Industrial and Commercial IoT
Traditional wireless networks are not capable of handling the bandwidth, latency, security and reliability requirements of operationally intensive environments
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The term “wireless networking” implies universal connectivity, but you have yet to see that in today’s industrial and business critical domains like manufacturing, supply chain, transportation systems and energy. Instead, we see a fragmented landscape full of proprietary device networks, cautious users and buyers, and broken promises about the potential of wireless technologies. Amid all this noise and clutter, a new generation of wireless communications developed for challenging environments has emerged.
Private LTE networking technology—LTE-based wireless technology for local and independent networks—enables users and customers to integrate diverse sensors, machines, people, vehicles and other devices across a wide range of applications and usage scenarios. It treats user concerns—from reliability and service quality, to security and compliance—as challenges that can be addressed by a single, scalable wireless networking solution which leverages LTE’s technology and ecosystem benefits. In taking this perspective, Private LTE networks are jumping ahead of the current market confusion surrounding wireless connectivity and are re-defining how value is created from devices and data.
WHAT TRENDS ARE IMPACTING INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENTS TODAY?
» Customers– As customers use various different services, they will establish a wide variety of new commercial relationships – barriers between new OT networked device services and traditional services providers blur
» Technology– The “center of gravity” in the Enterprise will increasingly be driven by new sensing devices, edge computing capabilities and data analytics opportunities
» Business Model Impact– As “machine-to-machine” or “machine-to-mobile” wireless communications grows, workable business models enable diverse new players to participate in the value created; In single-service metered services, bundles structured for key usage segments, abundant (all-you-can-eat) pricing for connectivity and data services and differentiated tiered pricing based on quality/speed
» Ecosystem Challenges– The shift to distributed computing and networks is pervasive where both information and the intelligence needed to manage new services are prevalent – traditional suppliers of hardware and software network technologies will struggle as they choose their respective paths—in either infrastructure or services
» Integrated Services– Higher bandwidth and reliable connectivity anywhere and “on-the-move” are key to many business models – networks that are “Out-of-the-Box” and enable “As-A-Service” Become The Norm
WHO IS DRIVING INNOVATION FOR PRIVATE LTE NETWORKS?
The CBRS and MulteFire Alliances are collaborative ecosystems working on multiple new use cases, including the simplification of private LTE network deployments. These technology initiatives bring key capabilities around spectrum sharing, network technology coexistence and simplified deployments that can drive Private LTE networks towards a prominent role in IoT network infrastructure.
CBRS, as a technology-neutral and spectrum sharing framework, may bring a radical shift in the spectrum and network services market that allows users to easily deploy a private LTE network in the U.S. shared 3.5GHz spectrum. MulteFire can be deployed in both the 3.5GHz and 5GHz bands (with additional spectrum band support in the pipeline), creating an unprecedented opportunity for LTE technology to support operational networks that have historically been dominated by wired networks, specialized short-range wireless or Wi-Fi.
While LTE deployments in the 3.5GHz CBRS band are limited to the U.S., MulteFire will support deployments in the 5GHz unlicensed band world-wide as well as additional support to carrier networks leveraging licensed spectrum. The unique architecture and spectrum access of CBRS and the stand-alone unlicensed operation of MulteFire create a simple way to deploy flexible LTE network infrastructure in a closed, private mode.
EVOLVING PLATFORM PLAYER ECOSYSTEMS
After displaying signs of relative indifference for so many years, traditional players within established segments such as IT systems, enterprise software, telecom and network equipment have finally awakened over the last three or so years. Meanwhile, the world of Smart Systems and Services has continued to evolve, particularly in the emergent player communities serving this opportunity. In this new cycle, physical assets and devices are being connected and enabled with sensors on a daily basis. Recognizing this scenario, technology suppliers around the world are now devoting major resources to addressing the opportunities associated with Smart Systems, but are, for the most part, failing to bring any new fundamental innovations.
For most IT and telco equipment vendors, selling existing servers, PCs, storage devices, and enterprise applications will be a recipe for shrinking revenues, given the impacts of new architectures on these markets and applications. But demand for these purchased technologies will not disappear. A few vendors that focus on being the consolidators of these shrinking but still large product markets will be able to survive.
The functional requirements of new digital and IoT platforms increases with the complexity of the use cases as well as the scope of assets to be targeted; the IoT is not a simple environment to navigate. High value use cases enabling widespread visibility and collaboration can be achieved using today’s technology, however, significant time and money is required to integrate and manage the variety of tools from numerous vendors.
PRIVATE LTE NETWORKS IMPROVING OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES IN PORTS
Harbor has identified six key use cases where Private LTE Networks are positioned to drive significant improvements to operations.
Below is an illustrative case study on Private LTE Networks in Ports, download our Whitepaper for more:
» Challenge: increasing container traffic is overwhelming port operators, ultimately congesting distribution and straining asset health
» Solution: a private LTE network could support the secure automation of mobile equipment within the port while also supporting wireless IP security, computer vision applications such as optical character recognition (OCR) and remote monitoring of capital intensive port equipment (STS cranes, tractors and trucks).
» Impact: a single, integrated wireless network that could support automation, security and remote monitoring functions will streamline operations from ship to shore to distribution, allowing port operators to keep pace with increasing container traffic. Enabling these remote monitoring and automation applications also improves the safety of employees by taking them out from under containers moving through the port.