Private WAN: how mmWave can enable high data throughput across large areas

The need for dedicated control, performance and security over an Enterprises’ operations is driving the adoption of 5G private networks. 5G private networks today are typically a single site, with a slice of dedicated sub 6GHz spectrum, typically at around 3.5-3.6 GHz, licenced from the regulator or loaned from an operator. These are small slices of spectrum that work well for some industries that operate on a single, controllable site and need indoor connectivity, such as factories, schools, and hospitals.

However, the number of industries that need equivalent private 5G network coverage over a much wider outdoor area, beyond where an industrial 5G licence would permit, is rising, and they often need to have substantially more data throughput compared to their indoor counterparts. The rail industry, airports, refineries and ports are perfect examples of this, and Blu Wireless’s mmWave technology is ideal for these deployments.

The difference between WAN and Private WAN

It would be virtually impossible to build wide area 5G networks at 3.5GHz due to cost and interference with other licence holders, for example along the train track for rail applications or across a large airport. Currently there are two options for customers to consider to meet these demands: A public network or private networking using unlicensed spectrum to enable the high throughout needed. Blu Wireless is currently deploying this type of large area network in partnership with First Group using unlicensed spectrum. The benefits of a private WAN are compelling: security, ownership, control, and dedicated resources across a large area, giving a better quality of service, which public networks cannot guarantee.

Wide area network technologies can enable a new range of use cases that just aren’t possible with a ‘traditional’ private network, and with mmWave there are fewer constraints around bandwidth, types of applications and devices that can be supported.

Wide Area Private Network applications

5G mmWave technology can support applications via backhaul, particularly for the offload of data, as well as massive data upload.

As planes land at an airport, for example, they need to upload telematics data they collected in-flight to the control centre, as well as download data such as in-flight entertainment for their next trip. Furthermore, a broad-spectrum network is required to also support asset tracking systems and cameras monitoring things like luggage management for example. They need to do this via dedicated, high bandwidth networks that don’t impinge on the operation of the airport or the aircraft and are importantly separate to the public networks in place at airports. Crucially these use cases can be supported with a single private mmWave network.

Another emerging application are big shipping ports. Quay cranes at modern ports are often equipped with multiple high resolution 4K video cameras that provide large amounts of data to the control centre and require networks that can enable massive data upload. Private networks using mmWave equipment offer the bandwidth required for uploading and downloading these huge data quantities in real time, while also delivering the flexibility and mobility needed to adapt to a dynamic environment, such as ports or airports. For clients this means improved efficiency, tracking and security across the site,

Blu Wireless’s backhaul solution has been built to effortlessly fit within other turnkey solutions. The equipment is standardised under IEEE standards allowing existing and new networks to seamlessly interoperate. Airport and ports would be able to slot the Blu Wireless solution into any third-party private network offering with relative ease.

Key benefits of private networks

Private networks offer greater security and control than public networks, and mmWave networks offer more bandwidth than traditional spectrum in the sub 6GHz bands. They are highly advantageous for outdoor applications, as they can easily be deployed across wide areas, thanks to self-healing network technology and self-aligning radio beams.

mmWave technology in particular is an ideal solution for private networks as it solves some of the key challenges that private networks based on lower frequencies (traditional mobile 5G) bring. It offers the network resilience, flexibility and technological innovation to reliably and securely support 5G applications in wide outdoor areas. Additionally, the flexibility of the technology can enable a variety of applications thanks to its high bandwidth, low latency and ease of deployment.

Why choose mmWave over mobile 5G?

Many businesses already use a dedicated spectrum, and now regulators in different countries are releasing different spectrum bands: in the US it’s at 3.5 GHz; in Germany and the UK operators are releasing 3.6 – 3.4 GHz. These are very restrictive licences with a very thin sliver of spectrum, which limits throughput and bandwidth. In stark contrast to this, mmWave technology can make use of 14GHz of spectrum, the largest single piece of spectrum available, and delivers exceptionally high throughput coupled with extremely low latency.

 Blu Wireless is a pioneer in 5G mmWave networking equipment for multi-gigabit connectivity, delivering reliable ultra-low latency performance into demanding applications such as defence, 5G backhaul, public safety and high-speed transport. Our equipment operates within the licence-exempt mmWave spectrum at 57-71 GHz, and has solved the problems of range, mobility, and interference management in mmWave systems.

If you are interested in learning more about our high bandwidth, multi-gigabit 5G networking equipment and how mmWave technology can be applied to meet your connectivity needs, get in touch with us today.

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