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Why Private Networks are Essential to Drive Enterprise Digital Transformation

The technology that businesses rely on has changed dramatically in recent years. Organizations now use feature-rich applications to run their operations and to drive innovation. At the center of making it all run reliably and efficiently is connectivity—and 5G is expected to usher in even more speed and potential.

But how can IT leaders harness the true potential of 5G—or even make the most of current standards like 4G? The answer is: through private cellular networks. Private networks share the simplicity of Wi-Fi but deliver much better performance, cost effectiveness, mobility, reliability, and security with cloud automation.

Driving the need for private cellular networks

Businesses are turning to private cellular networks for a variety of use cases, and many of the applications for this transformative technology will be designed and driven by enterprises themselves. Here are some examples of applications for private networks in use today:

Real-time surveillance

Private networks were designed with wide-area mobility and coverage in mind, so they are well-suited to enhance remote video surveillance capability in large areas, such as stadiums and smart cities.

Worker safety monitoring

Private 4G and 5G networks support wireless-oriented utility sensors and safety applications that can be used to monitor employee safety on work sites.

Operation visibility and optimization

Private networks provide greater visibility into resource utilization and traffic prioritization. Because of the greater visibility, with advanced analytics, enterprises can better optimize resource allocation.

Remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance

Enterprise organizations, such as utility companies, often require remote capabilities to diagnose and repair equipment in the field. The ability to perform preventative repairs before a weather event can avoid power loss during the event, which means little or no downtime and reduced operational costs.

Large-scale wi-fi vs. private cellular networks

Businesses are turning to private cellular networks for many applications that can’t be performed as effectively with Wi-Fi. For example, the Wi-Fi connection process is prone to errors, and that unreliability can be costly for organizations.

In addition, private 4G and 5G networks offer better wireless coverage than Wi-Fi over large areas, which solves the typical indoor coverage problem. On top of that, because private networks deliver low latency and rapid processing capabilities, they could connect multiple devices, Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), to business processes while maintaining performance.

Another shortcoming of Wi-Fi is its inability to differentiate varying types of traffic. Packets all look the same to Wi-Fi. But private cellular networks allow for prioritization of traffic based on the application in use.

Wi-Fi is also less secure and is susceptible to hackers seeking vulnerabilities. Private networks allow data to be transferred more securely, requiring stronger authentication and authorization steps, such as a subscriber identity module (SIM) card that authorizes a user it to securely connect to the network, making it much less open to exploitation.