Betacom, UScellular claim first for private-public hybrid 5G networks

US carrier UScellular has announced a partnership with private wireless network provider Betacom to deliver what the parties said will be the industry’s first private-public hybrid 5G networks.

The move is seen as a way to advance Industry 4.0 initiatives across the US, providing security and control over business data, both on-premise and while roaming among company facilities.

The private-public hybrid 5G network service is fundamentally designed to allow firms with multiple sites across numerous locations to maintain connectivity through a cohesive mobility strategy with trusted partners for Industry 4.0.

Uptime and performance are said to be assured for improved operational efficiency and productivity, with Betacom-backed service level agreements.

In practical terms, UScellular’s network and its access agreements give customers connectivity across the US, and the carrier will also provide data backhaul between sites. In addition, enabling devices to use a single SIM with profiles for both Betacom private CBRS networks and the UScellular network ensures mobility, while integrated communication and coordination between the two companies’ 5G network cores enables roaming across the country.

The service also uses virtual private networks to ensure all data effectively remains on the customer premises while devices and sensors are in transit between locations. It’s also designed to provide resiliency by using the cellular network for failover in cases where the CBRS network or local internet service providers suffer an outage.

The partners said the network architecture used for this service facilitates mission-critical command, control, communication, computers and intelligence services which require the highest degrees of data and device security. Reducing dependency on public clouds for data transfer by creating a private network through the carrier network results in fewer vulnerabilities and attacks.

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Joe Madden, founder and president of analyst Mobile Experts, said Betacom and UScellular were breaking new ground for their customers and setting new precedents for the industry. “Enabling device mobility from facility to facility with a transition from CBRS to cellular in both directions has never been solved,” he added. “This makes private-public hybrid 5G networks extremely valuable for a wide range of industries.”

Kim Kerr, senior vice-president for enterprise sales and operations at UScellular, added: “These new capabilities significantly accelerate the return on investment for digital transformation and modernisation initiatives for organisations of all types, from enterprise to retail to government, and move the industry as a whole forward, faster.”

Betacom CEO Johan Bjorklund said: “The service we are announcing today recognises that the wireless world is changing, and that connectivity, in all of its forms, must change with it. Organisations today need seamless mobility with incredibly high densities of sensors and devices to accelerate their Industry 4.0 initiatives. This new service acknowledges and uniquely meets that need.”

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