How private networks can transform airports

In many ways, a large airport is like a small city: a complex community of tens of thousands of people supported by a wide range of applications that depend on telecommunications networks to function properly. The main stakeholders of the airport ecosystem have different but closely related expectations:

  • Airport authorities want to ensure the proper functioning and orchestration of all airport stakeholders – landside, terminal and airside.
  • Airlines companies wish to continuously optimize their operations, ensure safety and security and improve passenger satisfaction.
  • Passengers want to avoid the inconvenience of queues and lost luggage, and have quick and easy access to a full range of digital services tailored to their personal needs.
  • Tenants and other service providers want to bring new and innovative services to passengers, visitors and everyone who works at the airport.

Many of the technology solutions needed to meet these stakeholder expectations already exist. For example, there are IoT applications that can continuously track baggage, but they require the support of an uninterruptedly available wireless network. More widespread use of biometric and digital ID solutions are available to improve the passenger experience, but they also place very high demands on the network, especially in terms of flexibility, latency and security. In the longer term, the ability to expand the use of autonomous vehicles and robots at airports will also depend heavily on the availability of reliable, low-latency connectivity.

The most efficient way for an airport to meet the specific needs of passengers, airlines, operations, tenants and others is to use a private network to complement current communication platforms.

Provide state-of-the-art connectivity with private networks

A private network is isolated from the public network and custom built to meet the communication needs of a particular business – in this case an airport – using the same standards-based technology as public wireless networks (4G/5G radio and dual-mode core technology). ).

Private networks are the ideal way to enable digitization and automation in airports, as they provide a highly secure and robust communications backbone designed to support the rapid adoption of new and emerging technologies. Private networks are especially useful for airport use cases that require mobility, reliability, deterministic performance, ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC), high security, isolation, and QoS for indoor and outdoor coverage. The highest priority use cases for most airports tend to be:

  • Airport operational communication systems
  • Asset and Commodity Tracking
  • Safety and security
  • Baggage Tracking
  • Biometric check-in and boarding.

With a private network in place, an airport has the ability to segregate operational and passenger use and traffic between networks, which is essential for safety, security and privacy reasons. Moving most operational traffic to the private network also frees up more bandwidth for public Wi-Fi.

Beyond providing unparalleled connectivity, the primary benefit of private networks in the airport ecosystem is that they provide airport operators with complete visibility and control over their wireless infrastructure – from planning and deployment to operations and upgrades. As a result, private networks allow airport operators to manage their own assets more efficiently.

Take the chance

The ongoing digital transformation of business and society will fundamentally change the way airports operate and serve their stakeholders. To meet rising expectations, airport operators must decide how and when to modernize their communications infrastructure. New emerging digital services and automation solutions that airlines, passengers and tenants want and need require connectivity that is secure, fast, available everywhere and always on. Private 4G/5G networks are the obvious solution.

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