Private networks help companies go green

Private wireless networks help businesses save energy and reduce their carbon footprint by giving them more control over power consumption. By using mobile networks to monitor and control HVAC equipment, enterprises realize immediate savings in energy consumption.

Ericsson was one of the first companies to flag a real-world example. The Texas plant that makes its 5G radios also uses a private 5G network to connect equipment, and Ericsson credited the private network with a 25% decrease in plant energy consumption and a 75% decrease in wastewater. .

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Cradlepoint, now a subsidiary of Ericsson, is seeing increasing demand for its mobile routers in private networks used for HVAC control. “It is driven by the need for a greener world and a way to better manage conditions, reduce costs, reduce consumption and reduce pollution,” said Cradlepoint CMO Todd Krautkremer. “We are working with a number of major HVAC solution providers who are trying to provide networked climate control for retail spaces, where they provide climate control as a service.”

Krautkremer said HVAC providers must bring their own networks to enable climate control as a service, adding that private wireless is typically much faster and cheaper than leasing and connecting fiber. He said 5G makes the private wireless network even more valuable. “With 5G, they can now do that and expand beyond climate control, perhaps into many of the AR/VR capabilities that buildings have, and deliver that as a service,” he said.

Retail is Cradlepoint’s largest line of business, and Krautkremer said that private network for HVAC is receiving additional attention because of Target’s network security breach, which occurred when the retailer’s HVAC supplier was hacked. Other retailers now want to separate HVAC from networks that process customer data.

“They realize that by running their HVAC infrastructure on the same infrastructure they use for IT, it creates an adjacent red space,” says Krautkremer. “If they separate it, they can have a much better experience, so we’re actually working with a number of retailers in separating their HVAC controls from their primary network, and one of the ways you separate that is on a parallel wireless network.”

Parallel wireless networks are getting a lot of attention in the smart building space. A private network makes sense because it “doesn’t hinder any tenant or other wireless signaling,” said John Gilbert, COO and CTO of Rudin Management Company, a New York real estate company that has developed software called Nantum for smart building management.

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Gilbert is excited about using CBRS private networks to help buildings monitor and control energy consumption. “At the same time as the FCC commercialized CBRS, CEOs in Davos were queuing up to say they were going to become carbon neutral,” he recalls.

As Gilbert noted, CEOs around the world are committed to reducing emissions, and private cell phones can be an important tool to help them achieve those goals, especially when combined with edge computing for data analytics.

“The more detailed data we can collect and analyze, the more efficient a building can become, the less carbon it will produce and the less electricity it will consume,” Gilbert says. neutral environment.”

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