Industry 4.0 growth driving demand for PCNs and private LTE

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With the Industry 4.0 juggernaut gathering speed, companies are embedding more and more smart and connected technologies into advanced production and operational processes. As the number of sensors soars, we’ll see the full automation of the manufacturing process, complete with real-time analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) enabling decision-making on the manufacturing line.

Even before COVID-19, agility, flexibility, and manufacturing efficiency were seen as key drivers of Industry 4.0 transformation. Companies leading the way on the fourth industrial revolution experienced far better outcomes than those that hadn’t started their journey. 

And in the aftermath of the pandemic, the need for transformation simply became more urgent and business critical. 

Industrial networks often require a wireless mix of indoor and outdoor connectivity, meaning public cellular lacks the necessary coverage, dedicated bandwidth, and cost-effectiveness to provide a fitting solution. And with Wi-Fi unable to offer the reliability and continuous connectivity needed for a robust, connected, and secure Industry 4.0 network, industry leaders needed an alternative solution.




PCNs and private LTE 

Driven by the challenge to solve connectivity pain points such as reliability, mobility, and security, early adopters of private cellular networks (PCNs) and private LTE wanted a guaranteed level of wireless flexibility. PCNs also offered increased security, resilience, as well as flexibility, ease of operation, and low cost of entry when deploying private LTE (long-term evolution) and private 5G networks using cloud native 5G core infrastructure. 

Supporting the requirements for increasing automation and self-maintaining machines, PCNs and private LTE enable the connectivity of people, places, and things using business-critical applications within a network framework that meets the unique needs of the organisation.

Combining the control and fixed costs of Wi-Fi with the flexibility, security, and network benefits of public cellular, private cellular networks can be deployed in large spaces that require a wide-area LAN. Private cellular networks can also connect to non-Industry 4.0 technologies, including drone deployments and automated guided vehicles, where continuous connectivity is vital.

Private cellular networks enable enhanced reliability, mobility, coverage, capacity, security, and reduced latency to overcome technical limitations for use cases where legacy public cellular, Wi-Fi, or wired ethernet are not sufficient. For example, in terms of use cases beyond manufacturing, private LTE and 5G are already making a difference in critical infrastructure facilities such as power plants, substations, and offshore wind farms, providing localised wireless connectivity. 

Elsewhere, it’s supporting video transmission, sensors, automated guided vehicles, and remote-controlled tractors in the agriculture sector. On construction sites, companies are putting private LTE and 5G to good use to enhance productivity and worker safety. And in healthcare, private LTE is enabling smart healthcare applications in hospitals across the country. 


Private cellular networks 

With the escalating demand for connected devices and IoT applications, private cellular networks offer reliable and secure wireless communication while providing full control over network data. If you’re starting to plan for a private network, come and talk to imei. We can help you focus on the requirements of your organisation and tailor a private LTE network to your business needs using Cradlepoint solutions. 

As a trusted partner to Cradlepoint, a global leader in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions, imei’s team is certified in the latest 5G technologies. With Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Service and wireless edge routers, you have all the tools you need to harness the potential of LTE and 5G for whatever lies on the edge of your network. 

Get in touch to learn more.



Topics: Network