Private 5G networks (or non-public-networks, NPN) are closed-door mobile/wireless networks providing coverage in a specific area for a limited number of UEs (user equipment) — which could be IoT devices, high resolution cameras, microphones, computing platforms, or indeed just mobile phones/handsets. Each UE will use a SIM card associated specifically with the private network, hence providing a strong layer of inherent security at the outset.
Private networks can be built in any radio frequency spectrum band that allows access in a given location, such as via shared spectrum agreements, leased spectrum, or even in some unlicensed bands. With current deployments, low and mid mobile/wireless bands (400MHz to 6GHz) are used for private networks, with countries such as the UK offering shared spectrum access in the n77 band, and the USA offering similar access via CBRS solutions in the C-Band (3.5GHz).
Neutral Wireless have a proven track record of designing and deploying private networks for a wide range of use cases. Examples of private network varieties that we can provide include:
4G/5G FWA Broadband Network
For deployment in a rural community. The private network operator deploys basestations, and issues mobile broadband modems and SIM cards to paying customers. External devices are unable to connect to the network.
4G/5G ‘Pop-up’ Network
For cellular wireless backhaul at an event. Akin to the FWA network above, 4G/5G equipment can be configured to behave like “fancy WiFi with benefits”, providing IP connectivity over the air for various use cases (eg OB camera backhaul, POS backhaul, event WiFi backhaul etc). Primary benefits of 4G/5G over WiFi for these use cases are significantly higher transmit power and wider coverage radius (kilometres rather than meters), mobility/ handover between cells, and network security due to the use of private SIM cards.
4G/5G Campus Network
For a factory site, or similar. Workers are provided with smartphones that can be used onsite for VoLTE phone calls to other campus devices (i.e. similar to a traditional corporate internal telephone network with desk phones and extension numbers), and potentially Internet access, to allow them to read their work emails. If the smartphones were taken outside of the factory building and outside of the coverage area of the network, they would show “no service”.
Used to provide coverage over a wide geographical area to analytics and control devices, such as sensors and remotely operated switches and valves.
NW Lomond NIB
If you are looking to get started with private networks, our NW Lomond 5G Network in a Box (NIB) is probably the best place to start!
NW Lomond delivers a fully portable 5G basestation, with Release 16 aligned vBBU software stack and integrated mini-5GC for subscriber management and local data breakout. The NIB is the perfect solution for lab work and field trials, and also for deploying a pop-up 5G network at events for sports broadcasting, music festivals, and public conferences.
The NW Lomond NIB is a truly mobile private 5G StandAlone solution, with the Radio Head and Compute platforms packaged in a 5U wheeled case, and optional companion Antenna and Tripod in another. The 5G network can be unpacked and operational in as little as 5 minutes.