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10 popular 5G questions answered

Lindsay Notwell

5G can seem complex — we hope to make it a bit clearer

5G developments are moving quickly, with deployments already in progress.  However, organizations and agencies don’t have to wait for 5G in order to get many of the benefits it offers. Advanced services such as Gigabit-Class LTE are available now, so organizations can continue to use LTE while planning to plug in 5G wherever and whenever it is applicable. To help in this process, Cradlepoint aims to point organization toward 5G and answer questions along the way.

Here, Lindsay Notwell, Senior Vice President of 5G Strategy & Global Carrier facilitated a recent webinar where we had a number of questions regarding 5G and Private LTE. Here are some of those questions as well as their answers, which you may find pertinent as you consider your IT technology roadmap.

Question: What are your thoughts concerning mmWave deployed indoors despite the propagation properties at these high frequency bands?

Lindsay Notwell: Based on our experience with LTE over the years and our involvement with mmWave trials, we believe that it’s definitely possible — though it will be important to plan — to perform site surveys and have the right installation tools to optimize the connection. We also expect outdoor units (ODU) as part of the mix.

Question: How can I train my company’s system administrator and Implementation Project Manager to be ready to start deploying 4G LTE and the subsequent technologies?

Lindsay Notwell:  We have some great tools on our website, in our YouTube channel, in the Cradlepoint Knowledge Base, and we even offer courses for select accounts via Cradlepoint University, our educational website that provides training materials and resources. Speak to your account rep for more information.

Question: When do you expect CBRS shared spectrum will be fully integrated into 5G NR?

Lindsay Notwell: There is quite a bit going on in the standards bodies right now regarding Private 5G. I expect you’ll see that within the next year. There’s a ton of demand for it, particularly with Smart Factories.

Question: Private LTE or Private 5G NR needs spectrum. Cellular Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) over 3.55-3.7GHz could provide a solution for enterprises. Do you think enterprises will participate in CBRS Priority Access Licenses (PAL) Auctions?

Lindsay Notwell:  It’s certainly possible, though most Private 4G/5G use cases will be served well with a GAA license (i.e. unlicensed) without spending money on a PAL, simply because of the limited propagation characteristics of CBRS.

Question: I am a consultant well versed on 3G, 4G, Private LTE/CBRS and 5G NR; how can I collaborate with Cradlepoint to educate and support enterprise customers that are not well versed in wireless technologies

Lindsay Notwell: Check out our partner program:

Question: How will Gigabit LTE and 5G offer better coverage in remote areas? Will we have fewer ‘dead’ zones?

Lindsay Notwell: It’s more a function of spectrum than 4G vs. 5G. Since low bands propagate further, Carriers using those bands will have a better chance of eliminating “dead zones.” That said, I wouldn’t expect 100% geographic coverage via cellular, possibly ever. If there aren’t people to pay bills, it’s hard to justify a network build. On the other hand, satellite solves the geographic coverage problem, and the good news is that Cradlepoint solutions support satellite modems by themselves or in combination with cellular or other WAN links.

Question: Does Cradlepoint have a 5G ready cellular failover device now, ready to go?

Lindsay Notwell: Most of our solutions are 5G ready. The best approach is to deploy today to gain the benefits of wireless, then plug in 5G when and where it’s available. Talk to one of our account reps for more info.

Question: Do you have any information on when there will be more coverage through rural areas?

Lindsay Notwell: We generally defer to our Carrier partners to provide information on coverage. That way you have the latest “straight from the horse’s mouth”.

Question: What is your opinion of Private LTE and Private 5G NR for enterprises? Will Cradlepoint offer Private LTE and 5G NR solutions?

Lindsay Notwell: Private 4G/5G is a great solution for certain use cases. We have commercial solutions today that support Private LTE and Gigabit-Class LTE. Once standards are complete for Private 5G and that infrastructure becomes available, we plan to support Private 5G as well.

Question: If Cradlepoint has a Private LTE network solution today, does it include both LTE RAN and LTE EPC included in the solution with other access network products as well? 

Lindsay Notwell: 

Cradlepoint doesn’t provide the Private LTE infrastructure; we have partnered with a number of infrastructure providers for that part of the solution. Our solutions serve as the Private LTE endpoints (UE) and NetCloud Manager deploys/controls/manages them and typically integrates with the infrastructure providers’ platforms to serve as an overall management suite.

Hope that helps. If you’d like to follow up further, let us know if you’re interested in becoming a partner, at which point we’ll get you connected with our channel team, or are an end user. In that case, please let us know where your company is headquartered so we can connect you with your assigned sales rep.

Here’s more detailed information about 5G.

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