CBRS Private Network Powers Industrial 4.0 Transformation in Rural Areas
Challenge

Industrial 4.0 is on the horizon as network connectivity continues to further innovations and advancements in automation, manufacturing, distribution, and more. However, with the rising ubiquity of network connectivity, the demand for a stable and high-quality network has also increased exponentially. Industries continue to struggle to meet this rise in demand. This challenge is particularly apparent with operations in remote and rural areas, especially for one of Fii’s customers in the energy industry.

With the advent of satellite technology, network access can be achieved in most areas of the world. Yet with nature’s innate ability to disrupt signals as well as the high price of constructing traditional localized cell towers for private network connection, the options provided to remote operators in rural areas when it comes to network connectivity are often high-cost and low-reward. As such, these options often do not meet the requirements for automation and real-time monitoring necessary for modern large-scale operations.

For this, Fii has devised a solution utilizing the strengths of CBRS shared spectrum and Small Cell technologies to fulfill all the requirements of modern automized operations for the Fii customer in the energy sector.

Solution

The Fii customer had three network requirements: stability, wide-coverage, and long-range to enable automation in remote operation sites.

After carefully evaluating the customer’s priorities, Fii proposed a customized CBRS Private Network solution that incorporates:

  • Small Cell Radios
  • An Edge Computing Box
  • ePC and eMS software

The Small Cells utilized support CBRS technology and offered an end-to-end solution. They provided strong signal connections that meet the network connectivity requirements of automation.

The compact designs of the individual components of this solution and the solution as a whole allow for flexible deployment of the private networks virtually anywhere. The small cells radios created quick and easy localized networks without the expense of constructing a local cell tower. It reduced the cost of remote operations while also minimizing signal disruption to establish not only quality but also stability in the network connection. Most importantly, the CBRS Private Network allowed the Fii customer to remotely control, manage and automate equipment while collecting real-time data for analytics. The customer benefits from cost saving in labor and time, as well as increased production from the enablement of field automation. The private network also built the foundation for future I4.0 applications that can bring further values to the customer.

The ePC and eMS software provided real-time network status monitoring and management. They allowed the customer to detect any issues with the CBRS Private Network early on and provide proper maintenance to avoid potential operation shut down.

Benefits

The CBRS Private Network supports industry innovation and automation through the provision of the necessary network capabilities, furthers the push towards Industrial 4.0. The solution also provides additional benefits, including increased cost efficiency and reduced machine downtime.

The compact and flexible nature of the CBRS Small Cells also allows customization to fit any industry and location needs that may require robust and reliable network connectivity. The CBRS solution will continue to see future success in various industry verticals, such as healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, transportation, for its stable, secure, and speedy connection that public cellular and Wi-Fi cannot compare.