New Verizon service brings LTE to private IP networks

Verizon technology routes traffic at cell tower to private MPLS VPN

Verizon Business is now offering its customers the ability to have their LTE devices route traffic directly to their private IP networks instead of through the public Internet.

The new service, dubbed Private IP Wireless (LTE), is designed for companies that want to have the benefits of using Verizon's high-speed wireless network but that also want to avoid the risks typically associated with sending data over the public Internet. It essentially works like this: Users transmit data from their LTE smartphones or tablets to the nearest cell tower that handles LTE. The tower then can detect whether the phone number associated with the device is a Private IP Wireless device and can re-route the data onto the customer's private corporate IP network.

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"With a private network I go to the same tower as public networks but it routes me to an enterprise gateway," explains Stephen Goodman, the manager of Verizon's global WAN solutions. "It never goes to the public network."

Verizon says this service provides several key benefits to corporate users, including a secure way to wirelessly access enterprise applications from remote locations, a seamless wireless backup service in case your wireline service goes down, and the ability to gain visibility to the mobile devices connected to company wireless routers through dynamic mobile network routing. The service also provides the standard security options such as authentication and encryption, although the company also says that companies that don't feel they need a very high level of security can forgo encryption if necessary.

The service is essentially an upgrade over a similar service launched by Verizon in 2008 that essentially provided a secure way to connect to corporate IP networks using 3G CDMA-based wireless services. The big difference between the two services is mostly that LTE delivers download speeds around 10 times faster than the EV-DO Rev. A technology that Verizon used as its 3G standard of choice.

LTE, which stands for Long Term Evolution, is essentially a bridge from 3G technologies such as HSPA+ and EV-DO Rev. A to the 4G IMT-Advanced technologies that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) says will deliver consistent speeds in the 100Mbps range. Verizon became the first U.S. carrier to offer LTE commercially in late 2010 when it launched the technology in 38 major markets covering roughly one-third of the U.S. population. AT&T followed suit last summer when it launched LTE in five cities last summer, while Sprint is expected to launch its own LTE services in four U.S. cities in the coming weeks.

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