Enterprise Private Wireless: Enabling Secure, Reliable Communications with Edge Computing

It’s no secret that digital transformation is top-of-mind across enterprises, but many organizations have neglected to upgrade their connectivity solutions. This isn’t a surprise, as billions have been spent promoting 5G solutions. Still, enterprises have been slow to adopt the technology, in part because of its complicated on-prem infrastructure, which is very expensive to both implement and maintain.

Private wireless solutions that utilize the power of the edge can provide businesses with digital transformation needs. The solutions include secure, reliable connectivity, cutting through the unnecessary complexities of traditional solutions, and reducing reliance on legacy carriers.

What’s more, private wireless solutions are far more cost-effective and quick to implement — especially when deployed using APIs — than those of the major cellular service providers, giving enterprises the flexibility to build and expand their networks as needed.

Enterprise Private Wireless

With significant performance, security, and cost-saving benefits, enterprise private wireless has the ability to make an immense impact on a wide variety of industries such as healthcare, education, smart cities, and even across the supply chain in warehousing and manufacturing.

Read on as I highlight each of these industries’ connectivity-related pain points, as well as the unique value propositions that enterprise private wireless can deliver for key enterprise segments.

Private Wireless in Healthcare

Healthcare facilities grow organically over time, leading to a labyrinth of buildings and campuses that are unfriendly to the unlicensed spectrum provided by traditional Wi-Fi.

Effective communication is the lifeblood of timely and efficient care. As we know, the use cases that the healthcare community relies upon span patient, physician, and even machine-to-machine. This makes dependable network connectivity harder and harder to maintain, especially as more mission-critical use cases and device types get added to already-strained Wi-Fi networks.

Furthermore, a lack of high-performance network connectivity makes it difficult to accurately track patients, personnel, and equipment in emergency situations.

Advancement in Healthcare Tech

Given the advancement in healthcare technology and protocols, hospitals are proving to be early adopters in the emergence of operational technology that brings together a tapestry of users and use cases that drive better outcomes for patients and more efficient delivery for practitioners.

Enhanced Operation Through Sensors and Mobile Devices

Sensors and other mobile devices throughout a facility improve efficiencies and enhance operations, but this class of new simplified endpoints needs access to higher performance connectivity.

The time-sensitive nature of these communications also requires a robust and dependable network to work efficiently. Furthermore, new technology implementations can leave networks more susceptible to breaches if not thoroughly secured, and healthcare facilities are rife with valuable information for potential hackers.

Patient privacy, especially, must be carefully guarded in order to continuously comply with strict HIPAA regulations. Private enterprise cellular solutions can deliver all of the above and more.

Consider Edge-Based Private Cellular Solutions

Edge-based private cellular solutions deliver reliable, secure communications across facilities to improve critical care experiences and ensure regulatory compliance — all while integrating with existing IT network governance.

The edge allows for stronger, more mobile network connections than those provided by traditional Wi-Fi offerings, ensuring equipment and systems spread out across the facility stay online at all times.

Private wireless networks also enhance security measures related to connectivity, helping to keep unauthorized eyes off of patients’ private information even when implementing new technologies.

With private wireless solutions powered by the edge, healthcare providers can administer crucial services and maintain patient privacy without needlessly worrying about the resilience of the enterprise connectivity platform.

Private Wireless in Education

Universities, K-12, and related organizations continue to have difficulty ensuring reliable coverage and network performance across their campuses. With hard-to-reach locations both inside and outside campus buildings, issues stemming from traditional Wi-Fi technology are rampant, as it fails to provide the mobility needed across widespread areas.

Furthermore, on nearly every educational campus, there are places where Radio Frequency (RF) blind spots and interference cut connectivity completely.

Stable Connectivity Ensure Safety

Stable connectivity infrastructure is required to ensure the safety of students and personnel — no matter where they are on the property. With carrier-class private wireless solutions, educational institutions can ensure their security, surveillance, and access control systems are working around the clock to maintain strict safety measures.

Schools can even utilize their networks to send out targeted communications to students, staff, and the community at large, including class notifications, campus weather alerts, schedule changes, and more. Additionally, edge-based solutions enable IT teams, to implement new localized and experimental applications in a much faster, more cost-effective way.

As educational institutions seek to upgrade their networks to keep up with an increasingly digital society, they should also look into what federal grants their organizations may be eligible for when it comes to connectivity.

Multiple federal programs exist today dedicated to providing billions of dollars to get campus communities better connected and help close the digital divide.

Private Wireless in Smart Cities

The more technology has evolved, the more businesses, consumers, and entire communities demand. However, legacy service providers cannot execute and deliver quickly enough to keep up with continued evolution and demand. The 5G ecosystem is too complicated, too hard to program, and too expensive to implement and maintain. This is especially true when it comes to covering entire cities.

“Smart cities” are becoming increasingly common as technology continues to infiltrate more and more of our lives, but much of America’s infrastructure is in need of investment, improvement, and intelligence. As such, the next generation of connectivity and computing implemented at a wide-scale municipal level will need to be used to help support reimagined roads, utilities, public transportation systems, and much more.

Digital Transformation of This Magnitude Should Move to the Edge

Simply put, cities looking to supercharge their digital transformation initiatives need to move to the edge. By implementing edge-based private wireless solutions, smart cities can enable stronger, safer connectivity across their communities. Complexity and costs associated with the implementation and maintenance of traditional mobile networks will be enhanced.

Smart traffic lights, low latency utility monitoring, real-time transit information, and accessible computing resources are just a few examples of the types of public benefits edge-based private wireless can enable.

Ultimately, the edge guarantees fast and reliable low-latency responses for the applications that require them most, creating more secure, more productive municipalities overall.

Private Wireless in the Supply Chain

The global supply chain has been under immense pressure for a while now due to a series of devastating worldwide events, and increasing investment in various supply chain technologies.

For instance, on the manufacturing and warehousing facility floors, humans and robots are working closer than ever as crucial elements of highly complex workflows optimized for the digital world. This means strong, reliable connectivity has never been as important in these spaces as it is today.

By ensuring connections remain firmly intact at all times, private wireless solutions powered by the edge can help ensure the safety of all supply chain personnel and equipment. It will help to drive continuous supply chain productivity. Additionally, cellular-class private network mobility substantially eclipses that of traditional Wi-Fi offerings, also enabling easy portability of the network.

What About Device Security With Private Mobile Networks?

As it pertains to device security — private mobile networks are able to secure all devices on the manufacturing and warehousing floors just as well, or even better, than a traditional cellular network can. Standard enterprise security mechanisms also natively apply, providing unparalleled defense against any would-be hackers.

When supply chain players look to deploy private mobile networks, it’s important for them to do thorough research to land on a solution that provides the maximum benefit for the lowest cost and the quickest deployment time.

A number of existing options require costly, time-consuming equipment and software implementation–but not all. Modern solutions that utilize easy-to-use APIs simplify the implementation and operation of a network, providing manufacturers and warehousers with the secure mobile connectivity they require to keep business running smoothly and safely today and beyond.

Last Words

As described throughout this article, private cellular solutions powered by the edge can greatly boost performance and security across the enterprise in key industries like healthcare, education, smart cities, and warehousing and manufacturing.

Offerings from traditional providers are expensive and often require long lead times plus mounds of equipment to implement.

Private wireless solutions powered by flexible, programmable APIs allow enterprises across industries to host, orchestrate, and customize mobile and Industry 4.0 applications at the Edge–as-a-Service.

This allows enterprises to time investments and enable enterprise connectivity capabilities to meet the diverse needs of use cases and users with a highly secure, reliable, and cost-effective long-term enterprise communications platform.

Featured Image Credit: Conny Schneider; Unsplash; Provided by the Author; Thank you!

Mike Mulica

Alef CEO Mike Mulica has been at the nexus of mobile communications, the internet and globally scaled industry solutions for the past three decades. Mike is a mobile and internet industry veteran, playing a foundational role in pioneering the Mobile Internet, and has led many highly successful companies and product introductions across the globe.


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