Enterprise 5G FAQs

What is the difference between 4G and LTE?
Simple – none! 4G or Fourth Generation uses LTE as the link between the cell tower and the mobile device. All 4G networks use LTE. 4G LTE has been deployed in many spectrum bands from 600 MHz up to 3.5 MHz+.
What does LTE stand for?
LTE stands for ‘Long Term Evolution’ and is defined by the international standards body, the 3GPP. LTE uses #GPP Releases 8 through 14. LTE supports IP mobile broadband data, with speeds of about 5 – 20 Mbps per device, depending on the amount of spectrum used. As a joke, many people in the mobile industry call LTE ‘Long Term employment’.
What is the benefit of 5G?
5G or Fifth Generation is the next evolution of mobile networks. 5G is defined by the 3GPP and starts at Release 15 – Release 14 and lower are 4G LTE. 5G offers higher speeds (up to 1 Gbps per device), lower network latency and the ability to deploy in more spectrum bands.
What is 'mid-band' spectrum?
Mid-band spectrum is generally between 2 GHz (2,000 MHz) and 6 GHz (6,000 GHz). This is very popular with mobile network operators since the signal propagates well and there are large amounts of spectrum available.
What is mmWave spectrum?
mmWave or millimeter wave spectrum is defined as between 30 GHz and 300 GHz – the term refers to the wavelength of the RF signal. That said, frequencies of 27 GHz – 30 GHz are generally included in the mmWave definition. mmWave is becoming popular for 5G networks since very fast speeds can be supported with large spectrum bands, even though the signal does not travel very far.
What is Edge Computing?
It could be argued that edge computing is a subset of the mobile cloud computing concept in which user equipment takes advantage of “distant” storage and compute resources. Edge computing essentially moves the cloud servers closer to the end user equipment, so it helps mitigate the downsides of mobile cloud computing.
What is CBRS?
CBRS stands for Citizens Broadband Radio Service. CBRS was established by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in April of 2015 for shared wireless broadband use of the 3550-3700 MHz band (commonly called the 3.5 GHz Band). The band was approved for use in January 2020.
Does a company have to pay to use CBRS?
No – CBRS is ‘lightly licensed’ and is defined for shared use. Anyone who wants to use CBRS simply has to use approved equipment and can have access to the GAA – General Authorized Access. There is no charge to use the spectrum.
What is a CBRS PAL?
When it defined CBRS, the FCC set aside 70 MHz of the 150 MHz CBRS band for Priority Access Licenses. Seven 10 MHz PALs were auctioned in each county in the U.S. in summer 2020. A PAL user has priority access to the CBRS channel when they want it – but when they are not using it, the channel is used by other CBRS GAA users. So, the spectrum is shared.
What components does a company need to deploy a private network on CBRS?
A CBRS network needs several components: radio access points (called CBSDs and similar in size to a Wi-Fi access point); an EPC (Evolved Packet Core – this the core of the network that manages the network); and access to a SAS (Spectrum Access System – this is used to manage the CBRS network – every CBSD comes with a connection to a SAS).
Does a company have to buy its own equipment to build a private network on CBRS?
No! The good news is that many companies are offering hosted EPCs (where the core is deployed in the cloud), leased networks including CBSDs. There are currently four SAS providers – each of these offer hosted services for a few dollars per month. A CBRS private network can be deployed without laying out any capital, if necessary.
Can LTE and 5G coexist?
Yes! Mobile operators are deploying 5G in the same spectrum as LTE – remember that 5G is defined as Release 15 of the standards, whereas 4G LTE ends at Release 14. 5G is therefore a software upgrade to newer 4G LTE equipment.
Does CBRS support 5G?
Yes! CBRS was original just approved for use with LTE. But in 2020, the CBRS Alliance approved 5G for CBRS – radio equipment will be available in late 2020 to deploy 5G in the CBRS band.
If a company deploys LTE on CBRS, how does it upgrade to 5G?
Depending on the CBRS radio vendor chosen for the initial LTE deployment, it may be as simple as upgrading software to move to 5G. Much depends on the architecture chose but several of the major vendors are able to upgrade to 5G using CBRS easily. When selecting your CBRS radio vendor, be sure to ask about 5G upgrades and what is required.
What is the difference between private networking and Wi-Fi for an enterprise?
Wi-Fi is a private network, just as an LTE network using CBRS spectrum is. Wi-Fi uses unlicensed spectrum (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands), which means that the enterprise network will be ‘fighting’ for spectrum with other users. Wi-Fi and LTE differ in the way they handle contention for spectrum (where two devices are trying to access the same piece of spectrum) – LTE is better managed. LTE is also much better at handing the connection between cells. And the inherent level of security is higher in LTE. But Wi-Fi is good for many use cases – iGR believes that Wi-Fi and LTE will coexist in the same environment for some time.
What is the cost of deploying a private network using CBRS?
How long is a piece of string! The cost of the CBRS network will vary enormously depending on if it is indoor or outdoor, the number of radios needed, the application to be supported (and hence the level of security, policy and management needed) and the availability of suitable wiring in the building. In general, CBRS networks today are slightly more expensive than Wi-Fi to deploy (but not prohibitively so) and these costs are expected to decline over time as more networks are deployed.
What devices can I use on a private LTE or 5G network?
Lots! In addition to a range of IOT sensors and devices, cameras (for security applications), and modems and gateways, as well as a range of smartphones. In fact, the Apple iPhone 11 and assorted Samsung and LG devices include support for CBRS Band 48 (to use the official name).
What are the use cases and applications for private networking?
There are many different types of applications and services that can be supported on a private LTE/5G network, from simple IOT and monitoring applications to sophisticated manufacturing, control and security apps. If an application can be supported with a wireless connection, it can be supported with CBRS private LTE/5G.
Can I connect a private LTE/5G network to a public mobile network to get calls and messages delivered?
There are several ways to do this, depending on the capabilities needed. In essence, to deliver calls and data from the public mobile networks to a private LTE/5G network, the packet cores of each network must be linked. This can be done by a third party (such as Geoverse or Syniverse) or with technologies such as MOCN. The important thing is that vendors are available to help accomplish this. A business agreement will also be needed with the mobile network operator – again, vendors can assist with this.
How does an enterprise start to deploy a private network?
The first step is to educate yourself about the technology and the capabilities. There are many resources for this, from IT vendors to mobile operators and equipment providers. This website includes recordings of webinars that discuss different aspects of building CBRS networks and how they can be used.

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