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Joint Venture Silicon Valley Teams With Celona to Pioneer the Use of Private Cellular Network Technology to Bridge the Digital Divide

Joint Venture Silicon Valley Teams With Celona to Pioneer the Use of Private Cellular Network Technology to Bridge the Digital Divide
Using private cellular technology for broadband, new networks critical for distance learning and underserved communities are now within reach

Celona, the pioneer of the industry’s first enterprise 5G LAN solutions, announced that it has partnered with Joint Venture Silicon Valley to bring more affordable and robust broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved residing where commercial networks are not available, or connectivity is too slow or costly.

Based on technology from Celona, new private cellular network infrastructure is enabling broadband access and remote learning applications to several schools within the Campbell Union Elementary School District — giving students reliable connectivity to the internet and school resources. The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) has reported that, of the 16,000 distance learning connections created to support students during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic shelter-in-place, over 14,000 were made using 4G/LTE cellular technology. The goal of the project — funded jointly by Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, SCCOE, and a donation from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital — is to create permanent solutions that will serve students for years to come.

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“Our challenge was to provide more deterministic broadband connectivity to schools and their students in an affordable, repeatable, and scalable manner,” said David Witkowski, Executive Director of the Civic Technology Initiative at Joint Venture Silicon Valley (JVSV). “Given its reach, reliability, and affordability, Celona’s private cellular network technology proved to be an ideal solution to address these requirements,” he said.

The new network’s infrastructure is based on the same technology used by licensed wireless carriers, but using the new Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum within the 3.5 – 3.7 GHz band recently made available by the FCC.

Recent innovations in cellular technology, coupled with the availability of CBRS spectrum, now makes it possible for private companies and public agencies to own and operate their own private mobile networks without having to enter into costly and complex agreements with large commercial cellular providers. For the SCCOE network project, Celona’s private cellular outdoor access points installed at local schools provide comprehensive wireless coverage and uninterrupted connectivity to students living in the surrounding neighborhoods.

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Unlike conventional cellular technology, Celona’s unique Microslicing™ technology automatically enforces advanced quality of service (QoS) thresholds to guarantee pre-defined levels of packet loss, latency, and throughput on a per-application basis.

“The advent of new technologies, such as private cellular, bring capabilities previously unavailable to private organizations,” said Witkowski. “This makes it easier to deal with the traditional scalability, cost, and performance problems that conventional wireless technology has struggled to overcome.”

A white paper, published jointly by SCCOE and JVSV, discusses the technology choices the team considered before choosing CBRS. The white paper noted that, despite its popularity, technologies such as Wi-Fi are not well-suited to deliver definitive broadband connectivity into residential buildings. CBRS was chosen because it provides superior signal prorogation, management and authentication of client devices, and the use of a connection-oriented architecture that manages client devices and assists them in making the best possible connection to the network. This helps to mitigate problematic roaming, connection and interference issues that disrupt service.

“Our successful work with Joint Venture Silicon Valley not only validates the value of our technology, but reflects our commitment to delivering a new era of uncompromised wireless connectivity that — until now — simply hasn’t been widely available,” said Özer Dondurmacıoğlu, VP of Marketing at Celona.

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