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LTE Network Basic Technology Ecosystem View

Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm's picture
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An ecosystem of technology integrations forms when public utilities’ support for industrial field areas adopt connectivity with private Long-Term Evolutions (LTE) Networks. Digital LTE signals are stronger than WiFi and LTE relays provide a communication net coverage accessible for incorporation of area energy technology needs met. Looking at the best private LTE Network technology ecosystem builds, a complete developed LTE Network has four crucial elements: 

1) A dedicated communication spectrum interface band (such as a CBRS handle)

2) A connection device to drive private to public utility coverage (the IoT) 

3) UE (target private utility LTE Network functional application items)

4) EPC (data driven enhanced custom programming core)

In a private LTE Network technology ecosystem, digital data is communicated by dedicated spectrums and devices. All private utility LTE Network builds are not created equal. The four elements of an LTE Network give a basic understanding of the composition of a private LTE Network with the possibility of further engineering or substitute features, (such as E-UTRAN in lieu of CBRS; or HSS “Home Subscriber Service” instead of UE; etc.). The 4G speed and digital clarity of most LTE Network operations have been in use worldwide since established in 2008-2010. Private utility LTE Networks supply both high need data loads and low data functioning systems. Alternatives to private LTE Networks (such as Global System for Mobile (GSM) a 2G data provision system, 3G service providers etc.) do still exist on the private communication utility provision marketplace. 

The creation of LTE Networks providing service for individual communities is aided by Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) private wireless protection and monitoring systems. The CBRS 3.5 GHz mid-band adds a needed LTE spectrum expansion to guarantee full LTE area function incorporation with utility established licensed 900 MHz usage. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission ruled CBRS would be managed by a Spectrum Access System (SAS) “in three tiers of authorization in the 3.5 GHz band: Incumbent Access, Priority Access, and General Authorized Access.” (“3.5 GHz Overview”; Federal Communications Commission; https://www.fcc.gov/35-ghz-band-overview.)  This decision set up an access level prerogative opening the gate for LTE private utility solid connections to capably interface with public utilities grid information. 

An LTE Network data use technology decision for operations is often custom programmed. This ensures better communication resiliency required by utility grade standards. The Internet of Things (IoT) are broad choices of data automation web creations and physical objects with processing ability and software built as foundations for technology solutions. “The flat, all-inclusive nature of LTEs all-IP architecture makes it ideal for IoT applications.” (“LTE and The Internet of Things”; Kimberly Tassin, Director, Marketing Communications; Sequans Communications.) As an IoT application, LTE digital data connects to the smart grid where remote alerts and maintenance can bridge the LTE Network “air gaps”, one of the causes of private LTE Network based utility outages or slow reactivity. Within the scope of clear communications between private LTE Networks and established public utilities, LTE Networks are capable of self-correcting functional errors when tied into smart grid usages through IoT devices. IoT linkage in LTE Networks is a development of the private utility LTE technology ecosystem providing cost effective and efficient maintenance for “out of scope” operations by the simple inclusion of IoT in thorough communications capabilities.

Most private utility LTE Networks are equipped with User Equipment (UE) on the delivery distribution end and an individualized program evolved packet core (EPC) designed specifically for dedicated private utility LTE Network systems function decisions. Creation of an EPC determines the services for a UE allowed by the LTE. “...A UE will typically be allocated a subset of the available resource blocks in the channel means that it is necessary to define limits on the energy a UE is allowed to transmit in unused resource blocks.” (“Examining the Design and Test Challenges of 3GPP LTE”; Microwave Journal; Sandy Fraser, Agilent  Technologies Inc.; November 1, 2007). Technology ecosystems for LTE Networks are built to adapt to UE requirements and to connect data streams faster, clearly, and with less interference time loss than non-accomodating systems without EPC customizations. Communication integration benefits of fitting a private LTE Network to public utility technology enhances LTE Network system EPC performance and provides increased reliability. When connecting to a public utility wide-area LAN from a private LTE Network, the UE may or may not be capable of the transfer of communications for service depending on the type of LTE Network build.  Some of the “tricks” to build back LTE Network connectivity include multiple SIM cards, equipment with modality switches, and geofence detectors. 

LTEs are not new on the functional utility stage of communications’ capacities. When private utility LTEs form a connected technology ecosystem with public utility services the community integration sustains the requirements for complete service including quicker Network recoveries under emergency conditions. As technology moves ahead, 5G service (already available in the marketplace) is challenging LTE 4G service for a run at permanent technology ecosystem upgrades. Comparing the tenacity of the slower technology “hang ons” surviving private LTE 4G Network implementation to the 2020 move introducing 5G next level, it is predictable that 4G private utility LTEs will not be usurped by the technology new adaptations and ecosystem impacts brought into play. Some of the Network 5G changes include direct interfaces without the IoT and shared UE EPC use. In newer 5G Network decisions, it appears security is traded for faster service and heavier data capacity. Forward moves include (rather than exclude) retaining the base model LTE Network structures for cost and carry easy transfer options. Votes are still being counted on the differences in established 4G private LTE Networks and 5G system installation values running on higher frequencies. Options are open to the customer as the technology ecosystems of private utility LTE Networks continue to evolve.

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Image credit: "ResearchGate" by Asem Kitana

Resources:

1. “3.5 GHz Overview”; Federal Communications Commission; https://www.fcc.gov/35-ghz-band-overview.

2. “LTE and The Internet of Things”; Kimberly Tassin, Director, Marketing Communications; Sequans Communications.

3. “Examining the Design and Test Challenges of 3GPP LTE”; Microwave Journal; Sandy Fraser, Agilent  Technologies Inc.; November 1, 2007

Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm's picture
Thank Kimberly for the Post!
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