Home5GCelona deploys ‘first’ campus-wide private-LTE CBRS network for California State Uni

Celona deploys ‘first’ campus-wide private-LTE CBRS network for California State Uni

Private networking company Celona has announced it has deployed a private LTE network in the 3.55-3.7 GHz CBRS band in the US on the grounds at California State University, Stanislaus. It said the deployment is the first “campus-wide” deployment of private LTE in CBRS spectrum for a higher education institution in the US.

Despite its claim about being first, the new installation is still in production, said Celona. It is “designed to blanket” the entire 228-acre university campus area in Turlock, in Stanislaus County, in California, in order to provide “pervasive” wireless broadband access and wireless backhaul for a range of applications, it said. The new LTE setup, in its present state, is being used to create “dynamic and collaborative outdoor learning centers” around campus. California State University / Stanislaus State has around 10,000 students and staff. The new network will also support a range of new IoT-based safety and operational applications, according to the plan.

Celona, like other private LTE providers working in the CBRS band in the US, has found a ready customer market in the education sector, especially as Covid-19 has forced schools and universities into a rushed agenda to support remote learning. The new LTE setup is being used for backhauling Wi-Fi traffic to the cloud from the University’s Eduroam Wi-Fi network, as well as for extending Wi-Fi coverage itself, and offering a private mobile service for a variety of university functions.

The option to backhaul over cellular means the university does not have to ‘trench’ additional fibre for the task. This saves the university considerable expenses, it said. The option to extend the network, and provide flexible in-fill, means the university can deliver broadband to permanent or temporary locations, as and where it is needed. A press statement came with the traditional bashing of old-school Wi-Fi (as opposed to new-school Wi-Fi 6 and 7 etc). It also waxed lyrical about the possibility to bridge the digital divide by providing more widespread broadband access.

A statement said: “While Wi-Fi continues to be the primary access method within schools, private 4G/5G cellular technology is now being used to quickly extend these services while providing new means by which higher education institutions can enable unique services that require more deterministic and reliable wireless connections. IoT sensors, video surveillance cameras, public safety and notification systems for parking spaces and meters are among the most popular new services to leverage private CBRS networks on campus.”

Geoffrey Cirullo, deputy chief information officer at Stanislaus State, said: “We see CBRS technology as a real game-changer. Not only does it fundamentally change the speed and flexibility by which we can deliver a more deterministic wireless service, it opens the door to a wide range of potential use cases that enhance teaching and learning outdoors and can support new applications that simply can’t tolerate any sort of network latency… We see some real value in CBRS for indoor neutral host applications that would allow us to improve cellular coverage by bridging our private 4G/5G network with public service offered by mobile network operators.”

Özer Ddondurmacıoğlu, vice president of marketing at Celona, said: “Finding low-cost, quick and effective wireless connectivity solutions is no longer an option for educational institutions. CBRS is really the secret ingredient in addressing the growing challenges of reliable connectivity.”

Previous post
Vodafone Idea taps Athonet for Industry 4.0 trials in dedicated test spectrum in India
Next post
Meters, trackers, monitors – 10 key NB-IoT deployments (1-5)