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9 ways wireless private networks are transforming organizations in every sector

Wireless private networks, also known as Private LTE or Private 5G, can make industrial operations faster, safer and more efficient. 

Woman at construction site

Every sector—from manufacturing to mining—is under pressure to boost efficiencies. To do this, you need a reliable network.

Facilities often use WiFi, as it’s inexpensive and offers reliable coverage for computers and smartphones. However, it is not ideal for industrial assets spread over wide or remote areas. If you try to extend your WiFi over too large of a site, you’ll run into bandwidth and reliability issues.

Wireless private networks (WPNs) provide high levels of performance and security for industrial equipment. A WPN is a private 4G or 5G network built on your site and is ideal for areas where you can’t scale WiFi, such as open-pit mines.

Wireless private networks (WPNs) provide high levels of performance and security for industrial equipment. A WPN is a private 4G or 5G network built on your site and is ideal for areas where you can’t scale WiFi, such as open-pit mines.

You can use a WPN as your only network or as a complement that enhances your existing WiFi. Many sites run secondary traffic, such as office laptops, on WiFi infrastructure and mission-critical applications on a WPN. If you have a new site without legacy infrastructure, you can deploy a WPN quickly and configure it to separate your mission-critical and WiFi traffic.

9 sectors transformed by wireless private networks

Industries that have adopted WPNs are already seeing the benefits. Here are nine ways organizations are using WPNs to make their operations more efficient:

  • Mining: WPNs provide coverage to wide and remote areas, making them an ideal choice for mining sites. They can reduce equipment downtime and improve worker safety by ensuring that assets, sensors and diagnostics stay connected at all times.
  • Utilities, oil and gas: A WPN supports equipment in remote areas, such as pipelines, oilfields and substations. WPNs are more reliable and cost-effective than traditional connectivity options, such as fixed landlines or satellites. 
  • Manufacturing: A WPN can automate the workflows between the pieces of equipment. For example, factory workers often move supplies and equipment around on dollies. You can automate this movement with a WPN that monitors everything—preventing collisions and boosting productivity.
  • Distribution centres: With the boom in online ordering, distribution centres want to optimize their operations to give customers better, faster service. A WPN provides the reliable network needed to automate warehouse operations, maximize space and deliver products faster. 
  • Logistics and supply chain: The fast, reliable coverage you get with a WPN helps automate the logistical side of your business and drives efficiencies in your supply chain. You can better track products as they move through your supply chain and are distributed to customers. A WPN can also support commercial drones used in deliveries and inventory scans.  
  • Retail: Connected devices, such as automated cleaning machines, need reliable internet. If your WiFi goes down overnight, you’ll arrive in the morning to find dirty floors and the machine stuck in a corner. A WPN will ensure that all your connected devices—from automated cleaning machines to point-of-sale systems—function at all times. A WPN can also extend your internet beyond your store, which is useful when processing curbside pickups.   
  • Airports: Airports never sleep, and neither should their connectivity. A WPN powers connected equipment, such as security drones and automated wheelchairs, making it a wise option for facilities with 24/7 operations.
  • Firefighting: A WPN can provide temporary LTE networks when fighting fires in remote areas. WPNs are more cost-effective than public cellular or WiFi and can be installed quickly, which is vital when dealing with an emergency.    
  • Military and border protection: Private 5G networks provide secure, reliable coverage over wide areas.

What to look for when choosing a wireless private network

A WPN can drive efficiencies across your entire business. However, not all solutions are created equal and will give you the results you hope to achieve. Here are five things to consider when choosing a WPN:

  1. The qualifications of your WPN provider. They should have extensive experience deploying wireless private networks, along with a diverse spectrum portfolio. You will see the best performance from your WPN if its licensed spectrum meets your needs. 
  1. The reliability of its network. Your operations—and profit—depend on your network. Ask your provider about potential problems, such as outages and downtime, that can impact your production.
  1. Your data security. Can you run your existing security processes and software within the WPN? What additional security measures does your WPN provider employ?
  1. Integrations with your existing systems. Look for a WPN solution that will work within your current IT landscape, instead of creating disparate processes that are difficult to manage.
  1. How you will manage your WPN. Does your in-house IT team need to handle your WPN’s day-to-day admin, or can you partner with someone to take care of this for you? A partner can install and maintain your WPN—helping you gain long-term efficiencies while your in-house team focuses on what they do best.

 

To find out how a wireless private network can enhance your operations, contact a Rogers for Business representative. This post is part of a series on transforming operations with wireless private networks. Check out the related posts here.