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January 5, 2021 | Written by: Maura McGowan

The Beginners Guide to Private LTE & CBRS

Networking within distributed locales – like distribution centers, seaports, airports, campuses, and even cities – has always been a challenge. LANs don’t upscale cost-effectively and WANs don’t downscale operationally. With the democratization of wireless spectrum and cloudification of carrier infrastructure, Private LTE has emerged as an ideal solution for the “wide-area LAN” problem. It combines the control and fixed cost of a private network with the flexibility, security, and macro-network benefits of LTE, and has a built-in pathway to Private 5G.

Private LTE CBRS makes it easier to cover a large service area that would typically require mobile phone coverage (other than when calling over Wi-Fi). The CBRS chipset offering in the latest mobile phones allows for normal cellular calling over the Private LTE, without having to have a separate phone service from a carrier such as Verizon, ATT, etc. Essentially, your own private cellular service with extended data coverage for lower bandwidth applications over a large service territory.

What is CBRS?

In 2015, the FCC established the new Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) for shared wireless broadband use of the 3.5 GHz band in the United States. CBRS is a 3550 to 3700 MHz broadband that the FCC has authorized for commercial LTE use. Rules established around CBRS allow three tiers for sharing the fifteen 10MHz channels. The first tier, referred to as Incumbent Users (IU), is always protected from lower tier users and is given highest priority such as military radar, wireless ISPs and fixed-satellite service earth stations. Tier 2, Prior Access License Users (PAL) is for entities who have purchased “priority” access licenses in the 3550-3650 MHz range in a county-by-county auction. Lastly, Tier 3 users are known as Generalized Authorized users and have non-exclusive rights to utilize any channel in the 3550-3700 MHz range.

Ultimately, CBRS centralizes coordination, minimizes interference, and maximizes spectrum use, resulting in better user experience in crowded environments with many users and limited space.

Private LTE CBRS makes it easier to cover a large service area

Private LTE is the exclusive use of a cellular network by a private enterprise. Private LTE and CBRS provide high-quality and reliable wireless connectivity far superior to public LTE and Wi-Fi. There are several benefits of Private LTE including increased network reliability, Quality of Service (QoS), better mobility, enhanced data security, improved operations, and reduced business costs.

What does this mean for enterprise business owners?

CBRS uses LTE cellular technology, but as a spectrum sharing model to deliver network reliability, range, and security – more so than with unlicensed spectrum. In fact, CBRS can deliver better quality and more dependable wireless connectivity than traditional Wi-Fi. This helps enterprise businesses that deploy CBRS improve in-building cellular coverage without the cost and intricacy of a DAS system. Industries that benefit from Private LTE and CBRS include manufacturing and warehousing, healthcare, transportation and logistics, retail, hospitality, MDU units, as well as the finance and government sectors.

If you’re interested in learning more on how you can control over the quality of cellular signals withing your facilities, reach out to Business Information Group today. Our wireless experts have Private LTE/CBRS experience including the assistance with the deployment and testing of Private LTE/CBRS for mobile coverage in major rail subway stations in Philadelphia, PA.