View from the Edge
Why and When Should We Embrace IoT Through LTE?
First, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been a bit of a disappointment for more than a few of us. There are various reasons for this, but a big reason seems to be that IoT a) doesn't play well in tight or restrictive bandwidth conditions, and b) a heck of a lot of partitioning (largely due to a glut of proprietary tech) has created an environment wherein IoT cannot truly exist. Remember, the definition or general idea for IoT is the creation of a network environment wherein all data-related things touch and function alongside all other data-related things.
So, partitioning is a given. How do we defeat it? As mentioned in our previous article, Private LTE running alongside existing Wi-Fi is an enabler and a productivity multiplier. But wait! How can we overcome partitioning with yet another system? Great question! This is going to sound a bit like sorcery, but multiple systems running alongside each other with each focusing on its own integral components and services but still being able to touch every other system is what IoT was intended to be all along.
Life Imitating Sports Imitating Life
I know sports analogies are passé, but we'll indulge ourselves. Not every person on a baseball team is a pitcher. Not every person on a football team is a free safety. Not every person on a soccer team is a striker. You get the picture. However, every single person on a team brings a specific and necessary skill set to bear on a collective goal. Your data networks are similar. Much in the same way we cannot expect a baseball pitcher to play every position at the same time, we cannot expect every data-related system in your organization and/or facility to carry the full weight of your business.
As we illustrated in the second blog in this series, Private LTE really is the enabler of IoT. It allows you to selectively partition and account for prioritization in order to fulfill the tenets and intended purpose of true IoT and seamless networking. Using industry as an example, you might assign robotics or packaging equipment to run on your existing Wi-Fi network while assigning comms or front office data processing to an LTE ride-along system. The benefits should be readily apparent: restricting usage and bandwidth for each system allows for less system strain in each component and a more effective allocation of resources without worrying about congestion, overload lagging, and/or crashes. In the event of a failure, compartmentalization allows for quicker and more effective troubleshooting.
We Want Our IoT and We Want It Now!
So, the question remains: when should we embrace Private LTE? I'm sure you expected this answer, but the time is now. Quickly check out the following benefits of Private LTE and compare them against problems you are personally aware of in typical network environments. Realize that the solution to those concerns already exists and is available to you right away.
In environments where productivity must be maintained at high and predictable levels, a Private LTE network exists independent from other users and is free from sudden traffic surges existing within a shared network. This allows full control of the data including the protection of sensitive data, preventing it from leaving the premises. Typical Wi-Fi fails in this regard. Your solution? Move sensitive data to your Private LTE network post-haste. Allow Wi-Fi to handle your non-sensitive data.
On large campuses, the longer range of Private LTE allows thousands more access points with less cabling. Range is significantly extended and 'dead zones' are quickly dealt with and eliminated. The result is full and seamless data coverage. You can eradicate problem areas without delay.
In short, many or most of the issues experienced by the typical network are solvable by simply running a Private LTE network alongside what you already have. It really couldn't be any easier to rectify a majority (if not all) of the most experienced network issues. As a bonus, the deployment of Private LTE is easy. The spectrum is higher capacity with substantially less cabling and of industrial-grade reliability. It enjoys minimal but consistent latency resulting in vastly upgraded quality-of service. It is capable of ironclad security and, perhaps most importantly, encourages interoperability at a moment's notice… right now… meaning today!
Isn't that what we envisioned when we first dreamed of our ideal IoT landscape?
For more information on Private LTE, see our 5G/OnGo webpage.
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