When buying a house, it is easy to get wrapped up in the magic of putting your own stamp on things and make it your home. Should you knock that wall through to create a kitchen diner? Would an extension give extra living space? Or would a loft conversion add value?
However, all of those dreams just don’t come into the equation if the foundations aren’t right.
A business’ digital transformation is much the same. Technology allows our customers to revolutionise their businesses but before that can happen, it’s vital to get the foundational basics secured. And here is where Mobile Private Networks come in.
A Mobile Private Network – MPN – is a 4G or 5G mobile network designed and built for a specific company, usually at a specific location, be that factory, campus or other such site, that boasts high speed and low latency.
It is a secure, reliable network that can be scaled up quickly – from a few devices to several thousand - and is mobile, meaning devices can move freely around the site. Data sovereignty and user control is maintained, providing peace of mind, and a guaranteed quality of service means both mission- and business-critical use cases are supported.
From there, you can start to add things into the mix, be that Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) or further Digital Solutions. The extensions and the loft conversions that really put your stamp on your business.
But the heart of digital transformation is MPN and that comes in three forms:
Dedicated MPN – a completely isolated private network with core and radio connectivity that boasts assured quality of service, 100% user control and keeps your data within that location
Hybrid MPN – that same private network but deployed in conjunction with the public network, allowing roaming, although you do lose that 100% control
Virtual MPN – otherwise known as Network Slicing, as the name suggests, this removes the physical network in a specific location but still provides the guaranteed quality of service and access to roam into the public network. However, again you give up 100% user control while also sacrificing keeping your data on site
Let’s take a look at MPN in practice. A shipping port is an excellent example of how a dedicated MPN can create an efficient, reliable and, above all, safe working environment.
A ship comes into the port laden with cargo containers. Once it has safely moored, cranes begin the process of removing the containers and storing them elsewhere on site. Not only does the MPN allow these machines to be fully automated, reliable and efficient, but they can also be monitored in real time.
For instance, let’s say an automated crane is moving a heavy container to a storage position on shore. An employee inadvertently wanders into the planned trajectory of the crane and could be at risk of injury. However, with the sensors in his helmet also connected to the MPN, their position and that of the crane is automatically relayed back to the control centre. From there, the crane is then instructed to pause in its movement and the employee is made aware of their situation. Finally, the incident is automatically logged in the safety records.
Equally, a car plant is the perfect home for an MPN. With robotics performing intricate tasks along the conveyor belt, like parts inspections, welding and spray painting, any impact on the efficiency of these units is costly to the manufacturer.
An MPN allows the plant to have a strong enough network to ensure reliability and that any issues, actual or potential, can be dealt with in real time.
So, you have your strong foundations with your MPN and that means it’s time to make this house your home. The good news is that there are plenty of exciting opportunities to do just that.
MEC was mentioned earlier and is the best place to start. For optimum efficiency, adding 5G Multi-Access Edge Computing gives greater responsiveness, allowing for data to be collected, analysed and acted upon fast by streamlining what is critical and what is not, with that less critical data stored in the cloud during quieter moments.
MEC is also the vessel that allows you to scale up your network. Devices numbering in the thousands? Employees spread across your site? Deploying MEC alongside IoT connections in equipment and machinery allows your business to respond in milliseconds no matter how many connections there are, no matter the workload through those connections.
Alongside MEC, Mixed Reality also becomes a possibility thanks to MPNs. The low latency afforded by the network gives businesses the opportunity to deploy a solution that blends the real world with a virtual one, useful in areas such as training or maintenance.
Let’s go back to that port for an example – a piece of machinery has become faulty and needs fixing. The operative sent to repair the fault uses their head-mounted display to see both the situation as it stands, along with real-time instructions, thereby improving accuracy, better chances of a first-time fix and increased health and safety.
Your future proof partner
It’s been said a lot over the years, but businesses face a real challenge keeping pace with the everchanging landscape in which they operate. But they can take steps to make sure their own house is in order.
MPNs provide the future proofing that businesses need to take on the challenges of today and of the future, while offering them the chance to further their digital transformation journeys with the adoption of MEC and other solutions and applications.
From there, we can be your future-proof partner, taking you every step of the way as you begin to scale, be that across multiple sites or multiple countries.
Suddenly that house you saw and fell in love with has become your home.
Learn more about what Mobile Private Networks can do for your business.
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