Private LTE

Networking within distributed locales — like distribution centers, seaports, airports, campuses, and even cities — has always been a challenge. LANs don’t upscale cost-effectively and WANs don’t downscale operationally. With the democratization of wireless spectrum and cloudification of carrier infrastructure, Private LTE has emerged as an ideal solution for the “wide-area LAN” problem. It combines the control and fixed cost of a private network with the flexibility, security, and macro-network benefits of LTE, and has a built-in pathway to Private 5G.

How Private LTE Works

A Private LTE network leverages localized micro towers and small cells — conceptually like Wi-Fi access points — to provide coverage and connectivity. It functions much like a scaled-down version of a public cellular network. Private LTE can be based on licensed, unlicensed, or shared spectrum.

Private LTE

Licensed Spectrum

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

Shared Spectrum

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

Unlicensed Spectrum

End-user organizations or carriers can operate Private LTE networks 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).

Examples of Private LTE for Enterprise Networks

Private LTE provides benefits ranging from fixed-costs and enhanced data security to improved network performance, making Private LTE the best available wide-area LAN option for a variety of deployments.


Many companies are implementing robotics inside manufacturing facilities to improve and automate operations. With the bottom-line at stake 24×7, these initiatives require strong information security and flexible deployment options along with exceptionally high levels of bandwidth and network performance. At manufacturing sites, Private LTE provides the capability to select the spectrum model that is ideal for the scenario, so robotic devices are guaranteed interference-free connectivity and coverage. With priority and pre-emption, a Private LTE network also can provide more granular quality of service for particular devices.


In warehouses and distribution centers, video surveillance has become a crucial tool for deterring criminal activity, spotting safety hazards, and monitoring employee productivity. Because Wi-Fi lacks the stability and performance they need for hundreds of video cameras, enterprises are using fixed-cost Private LTE to support traffic from hundreds of video cameras — and to keep footage data on-site, instead of incurring huge data charges with a public cellular pay-per-bit plan. It’s a cost-effective and secure way for organizations to improve operations.


With high volumes of passengers, personnel, and equipment, airports are challenged to keep operations smooth in congested environments. Operations teams depend on reliable connectivity for a variety of applications across large coverage areas. Using Wi-Fi to connect digital signage near the runways, terminals, and parking lots would require an elaborate array of networks and costly wired backhaul. With Private LTE, airports can quickly ensure contention-free operations for mission-critical applications and eliminate security risks by keeping sensitive data on the premises.


Education is increasingly occurring on-line, whether it’s students learning at home, collaborating over video, or accessing cloud-hosted educational tools. And ensuring Internet access to all students is essential to providing equal access to education. Using Private LTE across a district is a cost-effective way to connect students, teachers and administrators to each other and the Internet. Private LTE provides the reach that’s needed to extend internet access across a wide area without incurring high data usage costs or infrastructure investments.

OnGo Shared Spectrum Solutions

The CBRS Alliance is an industry organization that supports the common interests of members, implementers, and operators for the development, commercialization, and adoption of LTE solutions for the U.S. 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). The Alliance uses OnGo™ branding for shared spectrum technology in the 3.5 GHz band.

Cradlepoint is an active member of the OnGo CBRS Alliance.

The latest insights and highlights on how end-user organizations are using Private LTE to connect beyond the limits of traditional networks.

More resources

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