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Private LTE

In large areas where organizations have essential connected devices and applications, wireless connectivity is a challenge. Wi-Fi isn’t secure enough and doesn’t scale well, but public LTE might not provide the dedicated bandwidth or cost-effectiveness you need. Private Cellular Networks, including Private LTE (PLTE), have emerged as the best option for wireless networking in sprawling spaces ranging from campuses, shipping ports, and refineries to Smart Cities. In these “wide-area LAN” scenarios, Private LTE combines the control and fixed costs of a private network with the flexibility, security, and macro-network benefits of cellular broadbandwith a built-in pathway to Private 5G. 

How Private LTE works

An organization can control its own Private Cellular Network  by deploying localized micro towers and small cells — similar to access points. It’s like a scaled-down version of a public cellular network, except the organization controls security and Quality of Service with no recurring payments to carriers. Private LTE networks leverage either licensed spectrum; unlicensed spectrum; or shared spectrum, such as Citizens Broadband Radio Service, or CBRS. 

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 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).

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

Considering a PLTE network? Explore solutions now, or continue learning with our FAQs.

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