UScellular is aiming at deploying private wireless networks in a number of industry segments. Initially, the focus will be on industry 4.0 manufacturing, logistics, distribution and warehouse use cases.
The second group of target verticals will be hospitals, the industrial Internet of things (IIoT), ports, utilities and airports.
Private wireless networks use the same technology as public cellular networks to support individual customers.
The initiatives will be in partnership with Ericsson. The relationship between the two companies on private networks is not new. They worked together earlier this year at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Connected Systems Institute (CSI). The focus was on securely providing mobility between indoor and outdoor operations and integrating with business operations, devices and applications.
The private wireless platforms marketed to the nine verticals are based on Ericsson Private 5G, which incorporates 4G as well as 5G radios in a single-server, dual-mode core configuration. Pre-integration provides fast time to service, according to the press release.
“UScellular is growing its private network capabilities and solutions for our enterprise customers,” Kim Kerr, UScellular’s senior vice president for enterprise sales and operations, said in a press release. “Ericsson’s Private 5G solution and UScellular’s strong coverage in markets that have established manufacturing, distribution centers and warehousing, and providing the experience of operating LTE and 5G networks offer a great combination and value proposition.”
UScellular is providing a private 5G network to the UWM CSI. Rockwell Automation, which invested $1.7 million in CSI, in 2017, also is a collaborator in the project.
Earlier this month, the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) said that as of May, about 1,148 organizations were known to be deploying or had been granted a license for LTE or 5G private networks. The GSA said that 505 are using 5G for their private networks and that 66 were working with the more advanced 5G standalone technology.