Public wireless networks built by the major telcos enable us to use our mobile phones and tablets when we’re out and about. These networks cost-effectively provide the entire population with basic access to voice and data, and increasingly, video-based services. Coverage, cost and consistency of performance drivers are on a ‘best endeavours’ basis, but are not mandates.
Private networks, by contrast, have a different set of drivers and performance objectives – rapid deployment, security, ability to deal with severe environmental conditions and life-threatening situations, demanding remote and regional performance, and 99.99% availability and reliability … especially in crisis situations that can occur literally anywhere. Deployments are typically for emergency services, and availability of radio spectrum is often limited and/or fragmented.
So, public networks are deployed by private companies and private networks are deployed by the public service.
The underlying wireless technologies, both public and private, have now evolved to be all internet protocol (IP) based. This has fostered a view held by some that convergence around IP will see the scale of public networks dominate to defeat the private networks. So why isn’t it happening?
Private networks have evolved from delivering voice to emergency services, to adding data and (more recently) data-intense applications such as video delivery. From its voice-only origins, spectrum allocation has been based on either 25 or 12.5 kHz bands typically in the sub 1 GHz bands, ie, VHF, UHF and 700/800 MHz.
The public networks have also evolved from mass-market voice to now being dominated by data and video, occupying from 5 to 40 MHz of contiguous spectrum in bands from about 850 MHz up to about 2.6 GHz.
Private vs public
The spectrum difference between public and private is what begins to answer the question, “why is public not replacing private?” But there are many other factors too, and they can be conceptualised by realising that the two network environments are evolving with very similar underlying radio technologies, but the needs, demands and expectations are different enough to drive different solutions into different markets.April 16, 2015 5:31 am
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This post was written by aa radio