Betacom and UScellular Introduce 1st Private/Public Hybrid 5G Network

Private wireless network provider Betacom today announced a partnership with UScellular to deliver the industry’s first private/public hybrid 5G networks, advancing Industry 4.0 initiatives across the United States. The service provides security and control over business data, both on-premises and while roaming among company facilities. This seems to be similar to the “hybrid cloud” concept where a public cloud is used for general computing while a private cloud is used for mission critical applications and secure storage.

The private/public hybrid 5G network service allows organizations with multiple sites across numerous locations to maintain connectivity between locations. Enterprises working to modernize their operations across dispersed locations now have a cohesive mobility strategy with trusted partners for Industry 4.0. Uptime and performance are assured for improved operational efficiency and productivity with Betacom-backed Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

“This relationship with Betacom helps to establish a new bar for how the entire wireless industry thinks about, builds, delivers and utilizes wireless networks,” said Kim Kerr, senior vice president, enterprise sales and operations for UScellular. “These new capabilities significantly accelerate the return on investment for digital transformation and modernization initiatives for organizations of all types, from enterprise to retail to government, and move the industry as a whole forward, faster.”

Nationwide Mobility:
UScellular’s network and extensive access agreements give customers connectivity across the United States. UScellular also provides data backhaul between sites. 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 seamless roaming across the country.

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

Michael Davies, VP of business partner strategy and 5G-as-a-service at Betacom, explained in an interview that Betacom’s authentication system is the “secret sauce” to securing this seamlessness within an “island” environment.  “We have joined together to provide a single SIM that is authenticated within the static network and then is accepted, secured and maintained throughout the mobile network into the next static environment of the island,” Davies said.

David Allen, director of emerging technologies at UScellular, added that this approach also is key to how the operator segments the private network service. “We treat that private cellular network as a peer of ours, and so when we see that SIM in the public cellular domain, whether it’s on our native network or it’s on one of our roaming partners network, we will authenticate against that private [home subscriber server], that private cellular network, get the corresponding authentication, accept or deny and then that device can proceed with the policy controls that that private network has put in place for it,” Allen said.

“You may see other people claim hybridization. We’ve been early in that messaging of hybridization of networks, the public-private hybrid networks. Others have started saying that as well, but it’s really when you peel back the layers it’s typically a two-SIM solution. That’s for the most part, historically, the way that solution’s gone. We’re working together to drive toward that single-SIM solution so that we’re authenticating a private SIM and a private device that happens to be in the public network against that private network.”

Improved Security and Control:
The solution establishes and maintains end-to-end security, utilizing virtual private networks (VPNs) to ensure that all data effectively remains on the customer premises while devices and sensors are in transit between locations. It also provides unmatched resiliency by using the cellular network for failover in cases where the CBRS network or local internet service providers (ISPs) suffer an outage. The new network architecture utilized for this service facilitates mission-critical Command, Control, Communication, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) services and solutions 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 fewer attacks.

“The service we are announcing today recognizes that the wireless world is changing, and that connectivity, in all of its forms, must change with it,” said Betacom CEO Johan Bjorklund. “Organizations 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.”

About Betacom:
Betacom offers the first fully-managed private 5G network, building on its long history as a wireless infrastructure provider to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, the company has regional offices throughout the country. Having completed more than 800 large-scale design and deployment projects, Betacom inspires confidence among their customers who have worked closely with them to meet their pressing high-performance connectivity needs. Its secure private 5G wireless service is the first managed service of its kind in the United States.

Betacom earlier this year expanded the ecosystem around its platform with more than a dozen partners. This included mobile edge compute work with Google Cloud, Ingram Micro and Intel; application work with ADB SAFEGATE Americas, Evolon, Ingram Micro and Solis Energy; industrial IoT devices from Axis Communications, Ingram Micro, Qualcomm Technologies, SVT Robotics and Vecna Robotics; 5G work with Airspan, Druid Software, FibroLAN and Qualcomm; and system integration work with CDW, Ingram Micro and QuayChain.

The vendor at that time said the expanded ecosystem alleviates ongoing concerns by enterprise IT departments that they will need to manage a disparate combination of equipment, services and connectivity to deploy a private network. This should be beneficial to those enterprise IT staffs that have so far eschewed potential network complexity by going with a private network platform.

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One thought on “Betacom and UScellular Introduce 1st Private/Public Hybrid 5G Network

  1. That is an interesting partnership between two complementary entities. It probably helps UScellular expand its footprint while providing Betacom a carrier partner. It seems like the security and failover/back-up would be great selling points.

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