Private Shared Wireless Network

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A Private Shared Wireless Network (PSWN) is a wide area wireless radio telecommunications network developed and provided by MetroConnect[1] specifically for the use of public safety, utilities,[2][3] machine to machine, and business communications. Its broad area coverage allows for a greater signal range and a lower cost of implementation. Public safety agencies and businesses utilize[4] a Private Shared Wireless Network to send and receive data, communicate, and receive diagnostics information on their fixed equipment, vehicles and/or employees.

A Private Shared Wireless Network is built to operate on frequencies that are separate from those of public cellular communications networks and other publicly accessible wireless cellular or radio networks so to avoid their associated network congestion and security vulnerabilities.


Since 9/11, when data interoperability between first responders radio communications[5] and interference issues with public networks led to loss of life,[6] the US federal government has expressed a need for an interoperable communications networks for first responders.[7] They hope to attain this through public/private partnerships.[8][9]

One of the U.S. government's attempts at creating a private shared wireless network occurred in 2008, with FCC Spectrum Auction 73. The radio spectrum being sold was divided into five blocks, A, B, C, D and E.[10] It was the D block that held special conditions placed upon the winner; mainly that whoever purchased this spectrum would be required to build out a next generation network that will also support public safety broadband services.[11] The only bid[12] on this block of spectrum did not meet the minimum reserve price,[13] and thus the shared network was never realized.

As a result, many telecommunications equipment providers have begun building their very own[14] private shared networks,[15] (xvi) and selling various services and applications to businesses,[16][17] such as AVL/GPS, asset tracking via RFID & barcode scanning, and 2-way messaging.

Composition and function[edit]

A Private Shared Wireless Network is made up of multiple communications towers and base stations, each at a fixed location, spread about a given geographic area for ubiquitous coverage.Its main purpose is to allow the exchange of data between two points wirelessly. This exchange generally occurs between a company's assets via a vehicle mounted mobile data terminal, or via an RFID, and a central dispatching logistics center. This allows the dispatcher the ability to monitor and correct the performance of these assets remotely.[18]

Private Shared Wireless Networks are generally engineered for data-only communications networks. This allows for a greater number of users on the network and more reliable communications, as data makes much more efficient use of wireless spectrum than does voice.[19] Many regional and municipal governments have begun to create and engineer their own private networks over multiple tower infrastructures.[20] Companies such as Cisco Systems have invested in Private Shared Wireless Networks as part of their strategic planning.[21]

Private Shared Wireless Networks are an evolving solution addressing the communication and data requirements of government at the national, regional and municipal level, as well as utility companies, transportation companies and businesses which require a private solution operating via an established tower based network. US government mandates have fueled a need for first responders to operate in an interoperable manner.[22] A Private Shared Wireless Network is a network available to businesses who seek an alternative from those hosted by cellular companies.


  1. ^ "MetroConnect Website". Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  2. ^ Fehrenbacher, Katie. "10 Reasons Utilities Want to Build Their Own Smart Grid Networks". Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  3. ^ Johnston, Stephen Johnston. "10 Reasons Why Utilities Want to Use Public Networks for Smart Grid". Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Case Study: New York City Wireless Network" (PDF). General Dynamics Broadband. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 4, 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  5. ^ Brito, Jerry. "Sending Out an S.O.S.: Public Safety Communications Interoperability as a Collective Action Problem" (PDF). The Federal Communications Law Journal. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  6. ^ Moore, Linda K. "The First Responder Network and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  7. ^ "The National Broadband Plan - Connecting America". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  8. ^ Beckman, Kristen. "Spectrum Sharing Proposed for Public-Safety Broadband Network". Pandata Corp. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  9. ^ "FCC Creates Shared Wireless Broadband Network". The Public Safety Spectrum Trust. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  10. ^ "Auctions Summary-Awards of the Digital Dividend Spectrum". The GSM Association. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  11. ^ "UCTION OF 700 MHz BAND LICENSES Revised Procedure for Auctions 73 and 76" (PDF). The Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Provisionally Winning Bids Round 261". The Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  13. ^ "Auction 73 700 MHz Band Summary". The Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Choosing A Replacement For Your Sprint Nextel PTT Services" (PDF). Motorola Solutions. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 23, 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Private Wireless Utility Field Area Networks". Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  16. ^ "Verizon Wireless Private Network" (PDF). Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Interoperability Systems". Cisco Systems. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  18. ^ "Technology Overview - Data Dispatch". MobileKnowledge. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  19. ^ GRYTA, THOMAS. "Wireless Carriers Move to New Technology—for Voice". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  20. ^ The Atlantic Group of Companies. "STRATEGIC PLAN FOR COMMERCIAL WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES 2012 UPDATE" (PDF). Bedford County, Virginia: Board of Supervisors. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  21. ^ "Moving Into Substation Networking, Cisco Seizes Smart Grid's Low-Hanging Fruit". Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  22. ^ Obama, Barak. "Presidential Memorandum -- Expanding America's Leadership in Wireless Innovation". Office of the Press Secretary. Retrieved 29 July 2013.

Further reading[edit]

  • The 'Google effect' in the FCC's 700 MHz auction [1]
  • Public Safety and Commercial Spectrum Sharing via Network Pricing and Admission Control [2]
  • Machina Research: How low-power, wide-area wireless networks may transform M2M [3]
  • Spectrum sharing: Easier said than done [4]
  • Public safety and commercial spectrum sharing via network pricing and admission control [5]
  • The United States Conference of Mayors: Interoperability Survey [6]
  • Sending Out an S.O.S.: Public Safety Communications Interoperability as a Collective Action Problem [7]
  • Spectrum Sharing Proposed for Public-Safety Broadband Network [8]
  • An Analysis of Inter-Agency Radio Communications with Emergency Responders [9]
  • Sumter EMC Expands Coverage with MOTOTRBOTM and Wide Area Network [10]