The Pivot to Industry 4.0 Requires Industrial-Strength Connectivity
Without reliable wireless connectivity, the transition to Industry 4.0 is all but impossible. And the best way to achieve that connectivity is by using a Private LTE/5G cellular network which offers both the performance and the reliability that public cellular or Wi-Fi alone can’t match.
Cellular Technology — Built for Things that Move
As anyone with a cellphone already knows, cellular networks were built to connect things that move. Wi-Fi on the other hand was not built for mobility — Wi-Fi makes the most sense in very static indoor environments, such as offices, where things don’t change much and the traffic isn’t mission-critical. You still have to be careful about placement to account for interference from walls, absorption, and reflections, but generally, you only have to do it once.
In contrast, LTE/5G cellular technology provides reliable mobile coverage for outdoor wide areas and dense environments such as petrochemical plants, where interference levels are very different and the environment changes: new structures are added to the physical plant, new buildings pop up, trucks move through the coverage area, etc.
While interference and radio environments in industrial settings raise complex issues to consider whatever the radio technology is used, they are much less of an issue due to the much-increased coverage of LTE/5G and their excellent capabilities for handling interference. As many radio planners will tell you, coverage matters as the performance is directly proportional to the quality of the coverage (a factor of RF power and quality of the signal).
All your Business-Critical OT Applications on a Scalable, Secure, Private Network that You Control
Private LTE/5G supports low-latency machine-to-machine communications, low-power IoT sensors, mission-critical voice, video, and data communications, and can even handle any serial communications for SCADA and other legacy control systems. The scalability allows you to handle a huge influx of additional users and devices during shutdowns, turnarounds, and outages (STOs).
What’s more, private LTE/5G is deployed on dedicated equipment that utilizes uncrowded, private spectrum that you control with best-in-class, SIM-based security, and end-to-end encryption. You have total control over the network and every single device that’s on it — something that’s not possible with public networks.
Connect Everything with Power, Predictable Performance, and Uninterrupted Connectivity
Private LTE/5G gives pervasive wireless coverage of your entire facility, both indoors and out. It has the power to overcome interference-heavy environments such as petrochemical refineries and the ability to penetrate through walls and other obstacles that may block a Wi-Fi signal. With predictable performance in terms of data rate and latency, you can easily connect literally thousands of IoT devices from one side of your facility to the other.
The Business Benefits of Private LTE/5G vs. WiFi
Cellular was literally built for things that move. “Mobility” describes the hand-off between the individual small cells as a user or device moves throughout the coverage area. With Private LTE/5G, this hand-off is seamless — there’s no connection loss as there can be with Wi-Fi.
- Quality of Service (QoS)
LTE/5G cellular technology provides a better quality of service compared to Wi-Fi, full-stop. LTE/5G has better coverage, better reliability, and is just better all around. Plus, you have complete control of how your data traffic is prioritized end-to-end.
With a Private LTE/5G network, your data never leaves your network. SIM-authenticated security means no other users or devices can enter your network.
Deterministic latency can be very important in manufacturing or production settings where devices need to be tightly synchronized. Full, end-to-end control of your data is a key feature of Private LTE/5G, and it’s not possible on Wi-Fi.
You’re in control of your spectrum — you can determine the bandwidth you need based on your requirements and the density of your infrastructure. Plus, each cellular access point can handle 10x the number of concurrent active sessions compared to Wi-Fi.
- Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
While the cost of an individual cellular small cell is higher than an enterprise-grade Wi-Fi access point, fewer small cells are needed to provide coverage over the same area with a cellular network since LTE/5G has a higher capacity, wider coverage, and better penetration in challenging industrial environments. Also, you can consolidate all of your existing networks onto a single LTE/5G network which should yield significant operational cost savings.
Talk to Us About Private LTE/5G
MSB has helped its clients solve their connectivity and technology challenges for over 40 years, and as the technology evolves, so do we. Today, we operate at the forefront of industrial-strength wireless connectivity and have considerable experience and deep expertise leveraging private LTE/5G technology to help our clients make the transition to Industry 4.0.
If you have specific questions about private wireless or just want to learn more about how MSB can help solve your most complex problems, please get in touch with Scott Uffman or give us your contact info via the simple form below.
Don’t want to wait?
If you don’t want to wait on a call back or email from us, you may reach out to Scott Uffman who heads up MSB’s business development efforts. Scott has extensive experience working with our clients to provide sophisticated wireless technnology solutions, including several Tribal Nation projects. Please feel free to reach out to Scott — he’d love to hear from you.