Keeping Connected in Wide-Open Spaces
More than anything, businesses count on Connectivity. With the continued proliferation of smart devices, we have become accustomed to being productive anywhere, at any time. When extending this expectation to outdoor venues–such as large campuses, farms, or ports–concerns with reliable and secure connectivity usually arise. Wi-Fi is a reliable workhorse in the office and it is often the first line of connectivity. However, it can be expensive to install and operate in large, open spaces, and even then, be spotty and unsecure. Cellular connectivity can provide reliability, but public network operators are more concerned with satisfying consumer expectations, like watching Tik Tok videos, and are not focused on the upstream capabilities businesses require. So, the question has been, in places where wired connections may be impossible or difficult and Wi-Fi an ineffective solution, what can be done?
The Problem-Solving Advantages of Private Cellular
A cost-effective and compatible solution is private cellular networks, and particularly private cellular with mesh technology. Combining the inherent security of cellular with a mesh capability that enables flexible coverage areas based on business needs and topologies, properly deployed private cellular meets many enterprise needs. Private cellular mesh delivers a scalable and secure network utilizing ‘nodes’ as access points and, when needed, extension of the network to outlying areas. Due to its technical advantages, each node is roughly equivalent to 10 Wi-Fi access points, allowing far greater coverage, but at a much lower cost. This approach is already revolutionizing agriculture, where it is difficult to collect and transmit data. For example, The Ohio State University’s agricultural research facility recently announced it will use private cellular mesh to handle essential communication throughout its 2100 acres on soil conditions, animal health, farm equipment, and more.
Security and Privacy Are Non-Negotiable
In addition to its cost and scalability advantages, private cellular includes baked-in encryption and access control, as well as intelligent capabilities such as self-healing features and automated hand-off to the strongest access point. A private network is by definition insulated from the public internet, reducing or eliminating external threats and allowing an enterprise to utilize custom security measures, ensuring data remains under an enterprise’s control.
Ensure Success with the Right Partners
Like all technologies, private cellular networks only meet expectations when they work correctly. Companies seeking to upgrade their technologies should also invest time in evaluating how these solutions are deployed and give due consideration to ensure that its critical connectivity is built on a correctly designed and installed infrastructure. Engaging a good partner should help remove complexities and make a solution seamless and practical. Businesses should assign this challenging task to a seasoned IT network solutions provider with the experience, track record, financial stability, and certifications to ensure best possible outcomes and avoid a lengthy, expensive, and pain-filled process that is nearly inevitable when proper standards and procedures are not followed.