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We have dedicated teams in regions the world over. We’re here to answer your questions and connect you with the perfect Wireless WAN solution for your unique business needs.

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Private 5G and Private LTE

In many areas where organizations have business-critical devices and applications, wireless connectivity is a challenge. In some cases, Wi-Fi doesn’t scale well while public cellular sometimes lacks the necessary coverage, dedicated bandwidth, or cost-effectiveness. Private cellular networks, including private LTE and private 5G, often are the best option for wireless networking in large spaces that require a “wide-area LAN.” Private cellular combines the control and fixed costs of Wi-Fi with the flexibility, security, and macro-network benefits of public cellular.

How private 5G and LTE work

An organization can control its own private cellular network by deploying localized cellular access points that propagate the cellular signal. It’s like a scaled-down version of a public cellular network, except the organization controls access, security, and quality of service with little to no recurring payments to carriers. Private LTE and 5G networks leverage either licensed spectrum; unlicensed spectrum; or shared spectrum, such as Citizens Broadband Radio Service, or CBRS in the U.S.

Private Cellular Spectrum Options


Licensed Spectrum

Carriers can license their spectrum to an end-user organization or third party, or they can build and operate a private 5G or LTE network as a service.


Shared Spectrum

End-user organizations can operate private LTE and 5G networks using spectrum that is lightly licensed but shared (Example: CBRS, 3.5 GHz).


Unlicensed Spectrum

End-user organizations or carriers can operate a private cellular network in unlicensed spectrum, such as the UNII-3 band used for Wi-Fi (Example: MulteFire). Carriers also can use this spectrum with carrier aggregation to expand their bandwidth (Example: LTE-U, LAA).

Wireless networks work together to solve your enterprise problems


Widespread adoption


Relatively inexpensive and easy to deploy


Good performance, but trailing cellular


Challenges: Security and coverage

Private Cellular

Supports business-critical applications


Security, reliability, and flexibility of cellular


Total control of network access and traffic flows


Challenges: Deployment complexities

Public Cellular

Widespread adoption


Easy to deploy


5G offers high bandwidth, more reliability, and lower latency


Challenges: Inability to control coverage and QoS

Cradlepoint is an active member of the OnGo CBRS Alliance

Private Cellular FAQs

Pertaining to wide-area LAN, are private 5G and private LTE vs. Wi-Fi? No, private cellular networks complement Wi-Fi, supporting specific use cases and business needs. Wi-Fi has widespread adoption across many verticals, and it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to deploy, but security and coverage aren’t always sufficient. Public cellular already is shaping how enterprises connect sites, vehicles, and IoT — especially as 5G becomes more ubiquitous — but it’s difficult for organizations to control coverage and QoS. Private cellular networks combine the benefits of public cellular — including reliability, security, and versatility — with the control of Wi-Fi.

First you might ask, “How does CBRS work?” CBRS is a band of radio frequency spectra operating in the 3.55-3.7 GHz range. It is a shared spectrum that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has divided it into three tiers for different types of access. Whether your organization leverages CBRS spectrum itself or goes through a third party, the benefits include priority and pre-emption to prevent network congestion, increased security due to storage and management of data at the edge, and improved affordability for high-bandwidth applications. These benefits are available through a variety of CBRS use cases for enterprise organizations.

There are different private cellular spectrum options through various providers or even through your own enterprise. The easiest, most efficient way to build a private enterprise 5G or LTE network is to use an end-to-end solution such as NetCloud Private Networks or Ericsson Private 5G.

Considering a private cellular network? Explore solutions now.

Explore Private Cellular Solutions