Private networking: state of the art

Many businesses rely on implementing private wireless communication networks to enhance their efficiency, security and safety. James Atkinson explores the ever-increasing range of options.

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

Ten years ago, if an enterprise or public sector organisation wanted to procure a private wireless communications network, their choices were largely limited to land mobile radio (LMR) for voice and Wi-Fi for data. Leaving aside mission-critical users, such as emergency services, there are now more options for businesses to choose from.

Push-to-talk over Cellular (PoC) is a mature technology and readily available as a complement or alternative to LMR. Wi-Fi continues to evolve and remains widely used, but more
recently it has faced a challenger technology in the shape of private 4G LTE and 5G networks.

The benefits of LMR

The benefits of LMR are well established. Small enterprises, operating on relatively restricted sites and with relatively few users, can opt for unlicensed two-way radios operating in direct ‘back-to-back’ mode. It is a simple and cheap way to get a private voice network.

Larger sites with more users will need to acquire spectrum licences to operate. The advantage of LMR is that RF coverage and capacity can be specifically tailored to the size and topography of the site, and the required numbers of talk groups and end-users. LMR supports end-to-end encryption, so it is highly secure.

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