Public Safety, Mining to Influence Global Private LTE Market Outlook
By Pankaj Singh
Monday, January 06, 2020 | Comments
Increasing network requirements across large organizations adopting software-driven operations are fueling the deployment of private Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. Businesses are implementing automation, analytics and machine communications to enhance productivity and efficiency, as well as security.

A private LTE network can be a beneficial choice where large amounts of data are required to be transferred, which may stress a public network in a given area. Private LTE technology is highly suitable for certain distributed enterprise use cases, such as stadiums, airports, ports, amusement parks, mines, railroads, factories, public safety and smart cities.

Mobility, configurable quality of service (QoS), network security, ecosystem and interoperability, spectrum options and high-to-low rate scaling are some of the vital benefits offered through the adoption of private LTE systems. The global private LTE industry size is anticipated to reach more than US$19 billion by 2026, with increasing demand across distinct business verticals, according to Global Market Insights research.

While industrial settings, sporting events and port operations represent some of the more segmented use cases for private communications networks, the technology has tremendous scope in public services and other mission-critical applications. Most of these sectors have been coerced into implementing private LTE because of some drawbacks and unreliability associated with public communications systems.

Public-Safety Applications
In November 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission questioned public telecommunications providers regarding the public-safety power shutdowns of close to 700 towers across the U.S. state experienced in October. People were unable to use cellular services and could not make 9-1-1 calls or receive emergency alerts because of the power loss.

Undoubtedly, wireless networks play a key role in ensuring public safety by connecting civilians with emergency services, facilitating interdepartmental communications and offering fast emergency response. Several advantages of deploying private LTE for local public and emergency service communications include quick response to emergency cases, high levels of network security, interoperability between organizations, reliability in case of natural disasters affecting surrounding areas and cost efficiency to connect thousands of data endpoints.

As developed nations around the world embrace the concept of a smart city and undertake momentous initiatives and investments, the importance of private LTE networks will be significantly emphasized with an unprecedented increase in connected devices.

Nedaa Professional Communication, a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based government telecommunications service provider, partnered with Nokia to deploy a private LTE network to support smart city services and manage public-safety activities. Reportedly, the company already boasts successful use cases of LTE-connected boats for civil defense and in drones, along with other applications.

The enterprise wants to use the strong integration and seamless connectivity offered by LTE systems to help Dubai, the country’s largest city, better manage its traffic, water, electricity, waste, transportation and environmental protection initiatives.

Nedaa’s next big project is to deploy citywide private LTE coverage before Expo 2020 Dubai. Mission-critical connectivity applications across businesses and for public protection and disaster would be the primary focus areas. A major factor influencing Nedaa’s decision to opt for private wireless networks is the ability to meet regulatory compliance, cybersecurity concerns and cost-effective technologies for citywide communications.

Dubai’s first responders and operations centers will be able to leverage secure and reliable broadband connections offered by the LTE network. The system will support push-to-talk (PTT) services for first responders and other city workers, with the option to be upgraded to 5G in the future after the technology is commercially rolled out.

Mining Sector Deployments
The robust mining industry will positively influence the global private LTE network industry landscape in the coming years. A continuous, reliable and effective network solution is required in the industry to render support to trucks, emerging autonomous trains and advanced drilling equipment. The rise in mining activities across the globe has instigated technological developments to enhance safety and improve productivity.

With mining companies seeking to digitize and automate their operations, LTE is widely being deployed. In 2018, Epiroc, a Sweden-based mining equipment manufacturer, partnered with Ericsson to assist mining companies achieve optimal wireless connectivity with the help of LTE technology solutions.

The key advantages associated with the use of LTE solutions in mining include improved coverage, reliability and more robust security, especially when the machines are within the same area and need to share information continuously.

For improving automation, connectivity and safety at South32’s Cannington mine in Perth, Australia, Telstra teamed up with Ericsson to implement a 6.5-kilometer (km) underground LTE network to reinforce lead, silver and zinc mining. With its own subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, unique network codes and specialized equipment, the mine will have complete autonomy and full control over the private network.

The private wireless network, separate from Telstra’s own public network, boasts a virtualized core and reliable connections to vehicles and staff, while including radio technologies distributed via leaky feeder cables. Boosting automation on the site to reduce labor costs and injury rates, the private LTE system enables workers to control equipment without interruption.

Smart City Infrastructure
A smart city is primarily an urban area that uses several types of electronic internet of things (IoT) equipment and sensors to collect data and then use the insights gained from the data to manage resources, assets and services effectively and efficiently. Many developing countries such as India have taken up smart city projects to promote advanced and sustainable infrastructure development across the nation.

The Smart City Mission established under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in India is targeting the development of 100 smart cities across the country, ensuring they are citizen friendly and sustainable. A smart city requires information and communication technology (ICT) to improve its livability, workability and sustainability.

Advanced ICT services would help facilitate requirements such as smart lighting, smart metering, video surveillance, smart waste management and smart parking. IoT modules, which help reduce the strain on the city from traffic issues and environmental concerns, have become an integral part of smart city infrastructure. They are primarily sensors and actuators that gather data and are mainly commanded by the city’s software and applications operating in a municipal cloud and control center. A robust network solution is required to facilitate continuous function, along with protection from vulnerable security threats.

A Global Market Insights report covering the worldwide private LTE market is here.

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With content creation experience, Pankaj Singh is a qualified post-graduate in management and has worked as a freelance writer and insurance underwriter. Pankaj also completed a course in digital marketing. He currently pens articles pertaining to business, technology, and trade and finance.

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