Month: November 2020

Answering Your Questions About Private LTE/5G Networks

When we are talking to new customers, there are some common questions that keep coming up. The Basic Basics A lot of the most basic information is covered in this post, but we pulled out some common questions here. Q: What is a “private network”?A: In this context, a private network is a radio network based on cellular technology, but operated for private use instead of as a service to the general public. It means having your own LTE, 5G, or even GSM/GPRS network, operating independently of mobile network operators (AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, Telefonica, T-Mobile, etc.). Devices in this network …

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Hardware Diagnostics in Your Cellular Network

The purpose of this article is to provide some background for network managers about the kinds of radio hardware diagnostics that are available from typical radio basestations (GSM BTS, UMTS NodeB, LTE eNodeB, 5G-NR gNodeB, etc.). They probably will not see these diagnostics directly, only the resulting warnings and alarms, but it takes some of the mystery out of the system to know how these warnings and alarms are generated. This article describes the internal diagnostics in our own SatSite product line, but the same principles apply in most cellular radio equipment. This article specifically focuses on diagnostics for the …

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Private LTE/5G Networks Around the World

This article is about the state of the LTE/5G private network market, world-wide. From a regulation standpoint, there are two types of private networks: true private network – Installed and operated independently by the owner. This requires the owner to have legal access to spectrum, and there are several ways that can happen. pseudo-private network – Installed and operated by an incumbent MNO, but providing special service to a particular customer. This can be done through network slicing, or through an arrangement technically equivalent to an MVNO. These terms “true” and “pseudo” are not official terms, but used for clarity …

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Why You Need a Private LTE/5G Network

Various analysis reports place the value of the private network market at around $3.5B in 2020 and growing at about 13% per year. Where are these networks and what are they used for? And why do customers install them? In a different article, we addressed the question of where these networks are and what industries are using them. In this article, we look at the advantages of private LTE/5G networks over other technologies. Use Cases We will start with the assumption that you have a “use case” for a large-scale wireless network. You have a lot of devices, equipment, monitoring …

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Sorting Out New-Generation RAN Terminology

This article is about protocols used or proposed for connecting remote radio heads (RRH) or radio units (RU) or whatever you call that part of the network to baseband units (BBU) or data units (DU) or C-RAN, or whatever you have in that other part of the network: RRH/RU/whatever <-> BBU/DU/C-RAN/whatever The fact that the sentence is so vague illustrates the need for this article. And the namespace for this topic is already so crowded with redundant terminology from different groups that it is difficult to talk even in general terms without accidentally using some defined term from a spec …

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Getting Your LTE/5G Private Network

So you have decided that a private LTE or 5G network is right for you. We are ready to take you through the process. The Steps Our role is to plan, install, and operate your network so that you can focus on running your business. Here are the steps. 1 – Scoping We collect the basic information about your project, such as: Where is your project located? What is your current license status, if any? What sort of area do you need to cover? Indoor? Outdoor? Ground cover? Structures? How many devices do you need to support? What are the …

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This post describes the operation of the MTC Physical Downlink Control Channel (MPDCCH) for sending downlink assignments and uplink grants to the client device. Purpose of the MPDCCH In LTE-M, radio resources assignments (the times and frequencies when a device is expected to receive or transmit) are dynamic, for both downlink (“DL”, network to device) and uplink (“UL”, device to network). Every bandwidth allocation covers a period of one subframe (which is 1 millisecond) and every bandwidth allocation is assigned independently. We need a special control channel to carry this control information that is moving in the downlink direction, which …

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The “Burning Man” Private Networks

The “Burning Man” Private Networks

The history of this company traces back to OpenBTS, an all-software GSM stack that was started and largely written by Legba’s founder. And cellular networks at the Burning Man festival figure largely in the history of OpenBTS. These networks gave us our first experiences with large private networks (large coverage areas and many subscribers) in very challenging circumstances. (All photos in this post were taken by our camp teams.) What is Burning Man? Burning Man started in the early 1990’s as a gathering of performance artists and anarchists on an alkali flat in the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada. …

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Ad Hoc Private Networks in GSM

Introduction NiPC (“network in a PC”) is a mode of operation supported by YateBTS that allows the basestation to operate in 2.5G GSM/GPRS mode without a core network. While YateBTS NiPC mode does support normal authentication and ciphering with a local SIM database, NiPC also offers a feature that bypasses all security procedures and allows a phone to connect without authentication. Although we have moved along to private LTE/5G networks like everyone else in the world, there are still some use cases where this bypass can make GSM/GPRS as the best (or only) choice. This article describes the 2G security architecture that …

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