While cellular wireless is often thought of as a carrier service, IT organizations can benefit from deploying private 4G LTE technology to complement or even replace Wi-Fi and for specific use cases such as supporting IoT devices that generate large data sets and that are spread out over large areas.\nWhat is private 4G LTE?\nPrivate LTE is a local cellular network that includes cell sites and core network servers dedicated to supporting the connectivity of a specific organization\u2019s requirements independent of the cellular networks of service providers.\n\nIt enables organizations to customize their networks for mission-critical applications, optimize the network for low latency and support specific SLA \u2013 all without interference from the often-congested public wireless spectrum.\u00a0\nPrivate LTE is also suitable for some distributed-enterprise use cases, including stadiums, airports, amusement parks, ports, railroads, mines, oil\/gas extraction, warehouses, factories, agriculture, elements of smart cities and public safety. Other applications for private LTE involve extremely remote areas with poor cellular coverage.\nWhy enterprises might need private 4G LTE and 5G\nPrivate LTE also competes with public 4G and 5G cellular networks but can be the better choice when large amounts of data are transferred that stress the public network in a given area. The cost of high data-transfer volume can also be prohibitive in public LTE networks.\nPrivate LTE can be deployed anywhere, including areas beyond the reach of public carriers, and can keep data on-site for security reasons. And\u00a0 private LTE can be optimized to handle traffic types with specific requirements. For example, real-time IoT applications can be guaranteed extremely low latency for immediate response.\nPrivate LTE vs. Wi-Fi\nPrivate LTE is an important alternative option or even replacement for Wi-Fi, especially in situations where Wi-Fi has shortcomings, and can best be thought of as complementary to Wi-Fi. It is a good choice when Wi-Fi does not provide the connectivity required in certain use cases such as supporting mobile deployments. Wi-Fi can also be susceptible to spectrum noise and interference from steel walls.\nIt can be cost prohibitive when it\u2019s called on to provide coverage for large geographic areas. That\u2019s because of the large number of Wi-Fi access points needed and the fiber backhaul network that would be required.\nUse-case examples\nTaking these factors into consideration, organizations can mix and match Wi-Fi and private LTE to offer maximum connectivity for complex use cases.\nImplementations for which private LTE is well suited include high-definition video surveillance; remote vehicle, robot and equipment control; mission-critical communications for security teams; mobile connectivity for public safety vehicles; and mobile kiosk connectivity.\nSupporting large numbers of distributed or mobile IoT devices with high data-transfer requirements is a sweet spot for private LTE.\u00a0\nAcquiring LTE spectrum\nThe spectrum needed for private LTE comes in three categories: public licensed, shared spectrum and unlicensed spectrum.\nOrganizations can license public spectrum from existing holders, typically commercial carriers. Licensed spectrum might be suitable, for example, in remote areas with no existing wireless coverage.\nA second option is sharing spectrum with licensing approval. For example, in the U.S. the 3.5GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service could be used in private-LTE deployments with FCC approval.\nFinally, organizations can deploy private LTE in unlicensed spectrum such as 5.4 Gh, which is currently used for Wi-Fi.\nNote: Rules for these options vary country to country.\nIs private LTE right for you?\nOrganizations weighing whether to invest in private LTE should assess their network requirements in terms of coverage area, number and types of devices, latency and total bandwidth.\u00a0 They should consider whether data is stored locally or sent to the cloud.\u00a0 What types of devices and applications require connectivity?\u00a0 Are multiple physical networks required?\nDoyle Research expects private LTE (or 5G) to grow in popularity for complex or mobile enterprise networking requirement, including augmentation for public cellular (stadiums), vehicle tracking, digital signage, retail kiosks, and high-definition video cameras.\nResources\nIn the U.S., several industry groups are promoting private LTE standards, including the CBRS Alliance, the Wireless Innovation Forum and the MulteFire Alliance are promoting private LTE standards.\u00a0 Industry support includes Cradlepoint, Ericsson, Federated Wireless, JMA Wireless, Nokia, Ruckus and leading wireless carriers.