Putting solution-based thinking into private network activation

Putting solution-based thinking into private network activation

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May 7, 2024
Loretta Liu

Talking private networks with Loretta Liu 

Private networks are changing the game across industries. As one of CKH IOD & Three Group Solutions’ Principal Network Architects, I’ve been active in the industry for almost 20 years and have seen the evolution of private network technology first-hand. I’ve helped to implement countless network solutions; and I’m using that experience to share some key tips to organisations that are considering implementing their own private network. 

What are private networks? 

As the name suggests, private networks are isolated from other cellular networks, as a form of independence on the involvement of Operator’s public mobile network. Designed to offer reliable and secure wireless communications, these dedicated network architectures have rapidly become the norm in industrial sectors where high speeds, low latency and more reliability are needed to run business-critical applications. 

Private networks have come a long way. Just 10 years ago, critical IoT devices had to settle for the best effort connectivity of public mobile networks designed primarily to service consumer mobile handsets. Now, private networks dominate the IoT market, enabling advanced IoT use cases and making it possible to run real time automated control, monitoring, and optimisation of processes and as well as autonomous vehicles within an industrial environment.  

What industries benefit most from having private networks? 

Any business in any industry can benefit from having uninterrupted, secure, high-speed connectivity. At Three Group Solutions we do our most extensive work with industrial sector organisations — particularly those in logistics, warehouses, manufacturing, and container and shipping ports. 

Private networks are particularly useful for enabling connectivity in harsh terrain. One project I worked on, for example, involved installing a private network for a port operator. Previously, workers would need to operate cranes that stood over 60 metres tall, and to do this they needed to climb up to operating cabins that stood around 40-50 metres off the ground. 

By introducing a private network, they were able to reduce manual labour work and improve safety by making the cranes remotely controlled. That’s just one example of the possibilities.  

Addressing business challenges with private networks 

A common mistake many companies make lies in picking the product or tech first and then retrofitting it to their challenges. It’s like the buzzword effect; people hear about emerging tech, get excited by the possibilities, and decide they want it without really exploring why that tech specifically is the right fit for their problem mix. 

At Three Group Solutions, we encourage clients to come to us with problems, not shopping lists. Why? Because it’s more straightforward to find answers to questions, than to try and reverse-engineer questions to fit an answer. Often, we’ve seen similar challenges before, which means we already have a head start with problem-solving — and we can turn that experience and expertise to the challenges our clients face. 

3 steps to solution-based problem solving 

Our methodology can be distilled down into three basic steps: analysis, ideation, and implementation. 

1. Analyse the situation 

Arguably the most important step is understanding the problems at hand, and the wider environment the business exists within. What are the problems that need solving? What is causing these issues? What would the ideal situation look like?  

2. Ideate solution paths 

Once the problem and the situation have been analysed in full, it’s easier to start thinking about solutions. At this stage, network architects may explore how different tech could be implemented to reach a solution, and use their knowledge of other use cases to affect their decisions. It’s also important to apply future-thinking here too; as experts in the field, we may have insight into future challenges the client may face that they haven’t encountered yet. We aim to provide a customised, scalable, flexible and future-proof solution, with high-performing wireless cellular network, to augment client’s local LAN services.    

3. Implement and execute 

Once the best path forward is identified, the team can establish a plan of action and set a roadmap for implementation. 

By using this framework, we’re able to ensure that every solution meets the unique needs of every client — addressing both the current challenge and setting them up to address future challenges with greater ease. 

In conclusion 

The capabilities that private networks bring to industry are exciting and still expanding. If you’re interested in discussing the possibilities for your own private network, or if you have a specific challenge you want to address, request a callback and one of our agents will be in touch soon. 

Interested in finding out more about private networks? Check out this article, where we tackle five of the biggest myths surrounding 5G private networks.