The Benefits and Applications of CBRS

We all work in "connected" workplaces. No one wants to encounter a dead spot while operating critical machinery or managing inventory. Thankfully, advancements in technology, such as Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), are greatly improving what's possible for wireless networks. In the below webinar, we discuss the benefits for CBRS and its applications across various sectors.

What is CBRS?

Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) allows businesses to establish their own private cellular networks, similar to Wi-Fi but with superior features. Utilizing the Band 48 frequency, which was made available for public use in 2015, CBRS enables companies to create secure, reliable networks without depending on major telecom providers.

Public Versus Private Networks

Private Cellular Networks

Private networks empower organizations to customize their wireless infrastructure, offering tailored security measures, optimized performance, and dedicated support for critical applications.

Public Networks

Managed by large telecom operators, public networks often face congestion, reduced performance, and security vulnerabilities due to shared bandwidth. In contrast, private networks provide dedicated bandwidth, ensuring better connectivity, lower latency, and enhanced security.

Benefits of Private Networks

  • Better Connectivity: Ensures reliable and consistent connectivity crucial for business operations.
  • Enhanced Control: Organizations can customize network settings and policies to meet specific needs.
  • Improved Security: Offers advanced security features to protect sensitive data and communications.

CBRS Usage Across Diverse Industries

CBRS's versatility makes it ideal for various industries:

  • Warehousing and Logistics: Real-time inventory management and automated systems.
  • Manufacturing and Distribution: Reliable coverage for machinery, robotics, and IoT devices.
  • Airports and Public Venues: Segregated traffic for operational efficiency and enhanced security.
  • Mining, Oil, and Gas: Robust networks in remote, challenging environments.
  • Healthcare: Secure, reliable connectivity for patient monitoring and telehealth services.

CBRS-Enabled Zebra Devices

Zebra Technologies leads in integrating CBRS into their device portfolio, ensuring seamless connectivity and enhanced performance.

Examples of Zebra Devices:

  • MC9450: A versatile mobile computer with advanced CBRS capabilities.
  • TC58 and TC78: Rugged handheld devices designed for demanding environments, offering robust connectivity and durability.
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Benefits of CBRS in Different Environments

A standout benefit of CBRS is the lower infrastructure investment required compared to traditional Wi-Fi networks. A single CBRS access point can cover a much larger area, both indoors and outdoors, reducing the need for multiple access points and extensive cabling.

Comparison with Traditional Wi-Fi:

  • Coverage: A CBRS access point can cover up to 20 acres, far more than a traditional Wi-Fi access point.
  • Cost Efficiency: Fewer access points and less cabling lead to lower installation and maintenance costs.

Improved Performance and Coverage

  • Longer Wavelengths and Better Obstacle Penetration: CBRS signals penetrate obstacles like walls and machinery more effectively than Wi-Fi.
  • Enhanced Capacity for Connected Devices: CBRS supports a higher density of connected devices, making it ideal for environments with numerous IoT devices and automation systems.

Support for Robotics, Cameras, and IoT Systems:

  • Robotics: Reliable connectivity for automated systems and machinery.
  • Cameras: Secure, consistent networks for surveillance and monitoring.
  • IoT Systems: Seamless integration and management of various IoT devices for real-time data collection and analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CBRS and how does it differ from traditional cellular networks?

CBRS operates in the 3.5 GHz band and allows businesses to build and manage their own private LTE and private 5G networks, offering greater control and security compared to traditional cellular networks managed by telecom operators.

How can CBRS benefit my organization?

CBRS provides enhanced control, security, and reliability, allowing businesses to optimize their wireless networks for specific needs. Benefits include better connectivity, reduced latency, improved coverage, and lower infrastructure costs.

What industries can benefit most from CBRS?

Industries such as warehousing and logistics, manufacturing, distribution, airports, public venues, mining, oil and gas, and healthcare can significantly benefit from CBRS due to its robust and flexible connectivity solutions.

How does the cost of CBRS compare to traditional Wi-Fi networks?

While the initial investment for CBRS might be higher, the long-term cost savings are substantial due to lower infrastructure requirements, fewer access points, and reduced maintenance costs. Additionally, the enhanced performance and reliability can lead to increased operational efficiency and productivity.

What are the security benefits of CBRS over Wi-Fi?

CBRS offers enhanced security features such as dedicated bandwidth, physical SIM or eSIM requirements for device connectivity, and the ability to firewall and manage the network like traditional Wi-Fi. These measures significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access and cyber attacks.

How difficult is it to integrate CBRS into existing network infrastructure?

Integrating CBRS into existing network infrastructure is relatively straightforward. The process involves installing CBRS access points and connecting them to the network via Ethernet, similar to Wi-Fi access points. Management tools provided by vendors like Celona make the transition smooth and familiar for IT teams.

What devices are compatible with CBRS?

Many modern devices are compatible with CBRS, including Zebra’s MC9450, TC58, and TC78. These devices are designed to leverage CBRS for enhanced connectivity and performance in various applications.

Wrapping Things Up

CBRS represents a significant advancement in wireless network technology, offering unparalleled control, security, and performance. By adopting CBRS, businesses can overcome connectivity challenges, enhance operational efficiency, and future-proof their network infrastructure. Contact us today for a consultation to discover the transformative potential of this innovative technology.