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How to Operate Cost-Effective Private LTE Networks in Band 103 upper 700MHZ A block

Question: How can utilities leverage the license free ISM band (902-927 MHz) with freeRAN™?

Answer: The ISM band is a good choice for (902-928 MHz)

The industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) band is a cost-effective choice for deploying a private network. Spanning 902-928 MHz, the ISM band is a relatively wide and license-free band that many utilities already use for AMI and radio systems. Ubiik has now enabled the operation of LTE in this unlicensed band through our freeRAN™ LTE base station. This brings all the benefits of LTE’s high standards of connectivity straight to the unlicensed network. LTE is a 3GPP standard, which means the technology has global coverage and is future proof, unlike much of the older traditional proprietary technologies that are currently being deployed in this band.

Utilizing LTE in the license-free band offers several advantages. First, LTE's high spectral efficiency and adaptability enable it to deliver impressive throughput. This adaptability is crucial since the license-free band is prone to interference depending on the number of users in the area. While the quality of service and range may not match that of a deployment in a licensed band, the cost-effectiveness of LTE in the license-free band makes it an attractive option for utilities. Ubiik is currently working hard to make the ISM band into a fully 3GPP designated band.

Ubiik’s freeRAN™ LTE base station is optimized for the ISM band and is great for metering applications. It is certified for a wide range of LTE UE categories, like CAT-LTE-M, CAT-M1, CAT-1 and CAT-4. Since freeRAN is operating in the 902 to 928 MHz spectrum, there is actually overlap with the standard 3GPP band. This means that there is a wide range of existing ecosystems and devices can connect to freeRAN™ LTE base stations without requiring hardware or software changes. Ubiik has already conducted successful connectivity tests with LTE routers, Itron smart meters, and even with a Google Pixel 7.

Another strong point of freeRAN is (write something about the local EPC stuff).

Question 2: Can you give us some more information about Ubiik’s goRAN and freeRAN  LTE base stations?

GoRAN is designed for the licensed 700MHz band and is optimized for utility deployments. It supports a range of bandwidths from 1.4 to 5MHz and can operate multiple NB-IoT channels simultaneously. With a power consumption of less than 40 watts, GoRAN provides a cost-effective solution compared to traditional base stations. Its decentralized approach, allowing the core network to run within the base station, reduces the need for a stable backhaul, offering flexibility and resilience.

GoRAN comes with advanced features such as non-IP data delivery, power-saving modes, and support for non-anchor carriers, increasing capacity and reducing power consumption. goRAN base stations can be deployed in traditional centralized configurations or in decentralized setups, allowing for local data management and reduced backhaul dependency.

Additionally, GoRAN offers failover capabilities, enabling seamless switching to public networks like Verizon or AT&T in the event of network issues or emergencies. This resilience ensures continuity in utility operations, even during challenging conditions.

freeRAN is similar to goRAN but it has been optimized for the license-free 902 to 928MHz band, ideal for metering applications. It supports multiple LTE versions, including CAT-M1 and CAT-4 devices. freeRAN's unique feature is its ability to operate in overlapping 3GPP Band 8, providing compatibility with a wide range of existing devices and modules. This flexibility makes it easy to integrate with various communication devices, including smartphones like the Google Pixel 7.

With Ubiik's new base stations, utility companies can benefit from flexible, cost-effective, and reliable connectivity solutions tailored to their needs. Whether it's for smart metering or broader utility applications, goRAN and freeRAN offer state-of-the-art technology that enhances performance and efficiency.

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