In the dynamic landscape of wireless communication, CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) and Private LTE/5G networks have emerged as significant breakthroughs for many businesses. If you are considering installing or updating your network in 2024, it’s worth considering these new technologies.
In this article, we delve into both CBRS and 5G / Private LTE, explore their benefits for private companies, and discuss the optimal use cases for adopting CBRS instead of traditional Wi-Fi or public cellular networks.
Understanding CBRS and Private LTE/5G
CBRS was created to extend wireless service in large spaces. It operates in the 3.5 GHz band and is a shared spectrum, providing a unique blend of licensed and unlicensed spectrum access. This model differentiates CBRS from traditional Wi-Fi networks and public cellular services. Unlike Wi-Fi, CBRS offers a more predictable and controlled environment, while it distinguishes itself from public cellular networks by allowing organizations to manage their dedicated spectrum. This approach enhances reliability, security, and overall performance. CBRS advantages include:
- More secure than public LTE – With a private CBRS network, companies have greater control over security protocols and can implement customized measures to safeguard sensitive data.
- Improved performance and reliability – CBRS allows companies to operate in a dedicated spectrum, minimizing interference and enhancing overall network performance.
- Predictable Connectivity – CBRS provides consistent connectivity, making it suitable for applications that demand low latency and high reliability.
- Better indoor and outdoor coverage – ‘Best of both worlds’ between traditional Wi-Fi and public LTE.
- CBRS offers flexibility to dedicate and segment bandwidth – You have the ability to prioritize certain traffic (critical for robotics or guided vehicles).
- Designed for extended coverage – In large areas which might otherwise require significant Wi-Fi infrastructure, CBRS can offer lower adoption cost.
- Cost-Efficiency – Private companies can optimize their network costs by avoiding the need for public cellular subscriptions while enjoying the benefits of a dedicated and controlled spectrum.
Differences Between 5G and 4G Networks
CBRS can be configured as a private LTE/5G network, so it makes sense to review the newer 5G standard versus its 4G predecessor”
|4G networks typically offer download speeds in the range of 10 to 100 Mbps (Megabits per second) and upload speeds of 5 to 50 Mbps.
|5G is designed to provide significantly faster speeds. Speeds can vary, but 5G is expected to deliver download speeds in the range of 100 Mbps to multiple gigabits per second (Gbps).
|4G networks generally have a latency (the time it takes for data to travel from the source to the destination) of around 30 to 50 milliseconds.
|5G aims to achieve ultra-low latency, with targets as low as 1 millisecond or less. This low latency is crucial for applications that require real-time responsiveness.
|Capacity & Connectivity
|While 4G networks can handle a significant number of connected devices, they may face congestion in densely populated areas, leading to reduced speeds and reliability.
|5G is designed to support a massive increase in connected devices per square kilometer, providing enhanced capacity and improved connectivity in crowded environments.
|Primarily operates in lower-frequency bands (sub-6 GHz).
|Utilizes a broader range of frequencies, including lower-frequency bands (sub-6 GHz) and higher-frequency millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands.
|Based on LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology.
|Introduces new technologies like massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output), beamforming, and network slicing, enabling improved performance and flexibility.
Attractive ‘Use Cases’ for CBRS Technology
Applications which require either prioritization of certain traffic, or coverage of large indoor/outdoor areas can benefit from CBRS. Some typical examples might be:
- Industrial IoT (Internet of Things): CBRS is well-suited for industrial applications where low-latency and reliable connectivity are crucial. This includes applications like predictive maintenance, asset tracking, and real-time monitoring in manufacturing plants.
- Large Manufacturing/Warehouse Facilities and Campuses: Large spaces which might require for indoor and outdoor coverage can benefit from CBRS networks for seamless connectivity across expansive areas with high user density.
- Healthcare: In healthcare settings, CBRS can support critical applications like telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and data-intensive imaging processes, ensuring a secure and reliable network infrastructure.
When is the Right Time to Consider CBRS Adoption?
The decision to adopt CBRS depends on various factors, including your organization’s size, connectivity needs, and budget constraints. However, key indicators for considering CBRS adoption include:
- Upcoming Network Expansion or Upgrade: If a company is planning to expand its operations or upgrade its existing network infrastructure, it might be an opportune time to explore CBRS.
- Increasing IoT Integration: As businesses integrate more IoT devices into their operations, the need for a reliable, low-latency network becomes paramount, making CBRS an attractive option.
- Enhanced Security Requirements: If a company deals with sensitive data and requires a higher level of security, CBRS provides the necessary control and customization to meet those requirements.
CSSI Offers CBRS-Compatible Handhelds and Tablets
CSSI can help you select from and test a variety of CBRS and 5G-compatible handheld computers and tablets. We are also able to help you with site surveys and installations for your wireless network technology upgrades.
Contact CSSI To Learn More About CBRS and Private LTE/5G
CBRS and Private 5G networks offer a compelling alternative to traditional Wi-Fi and public cellular services, providing businesses with increased control, reliability, and security. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, companies looking to optimize their connectivity infrastructure should consider the benefits of CBRS, especially in scenarios where low latency, reliability, and customization are critical. To discuss your environment and potential CBRS applications, please contact CSSI.