Insights & Resources3 min read

Create a Private LTE Network with Telnyx Wireless

Why use a private LTE network for your IoT project? It’s all about security, access and control.

Risa Takenaka
Private LTE networks are offer greater security and more control for your IoT projects.

What is a Private LTE Network?

Private LTE networks are an outstanding alternative to the open internet for connecting devices that require secure, direct connections to each other and/or your cloud infrastructure. Specifically, private LTE networks offer an option for connecting several devices and applications across a private mobile telecoms network to communicate with a device in the field over a cellular connection without ever touching the public internet.

Why are Private LTE Networks important?

Private LTE networks allow you to avoid issues with the public internet, and enjoy direct access to the devices that are mapped to your private LTE infrastructure with increased security and control.
While Telnyx private LTE networks leverage partner MNOs for RAN connectivity, the entire request flow is siloed from the public internet to maximize both ease of access and security. With a private LTE network, you can connect your Telnyx SIMs to a corporate network, which provides a few key advantages:
  • Fully secure data sessions siloed from the public internet.
  • Direct access to devices that SIMs are deployed on via static IPs. This is especially helpful for troubleshooting, because you can directly access the device that your SIM is on, and minimize the time to resolution for troubleshooting issues.
  • Complete control over SIM data connections allowing for customer configured traffic shaping.

How does a Private LTE Network work?

The diagram above shows the end to end flow of data for private LTE networks with Telnyx Wireless. First, a Telnyx SIM will request to connect to the visited MNO network. Telnyx SIMs have access to over 200 networks globally. Next, the SIM is routed to a private IPX network, where it connects to the Telnyx EPC. In the final hop, a connection is made between the Telnyx EPC and customer CSP through a VXC -- all without touching the public internet. Read about our VXC product in this introductory blog.

How the Public Internet is vulnerable

The public internet is great, and it certainly offers a lot of wonderful communication opportunities. However, the public internet can pose security risks to your wireless applications.
To start, the public internet can become overburdened with too many devices, and they’re prone to security breaches -- even those that are encrypted are susceptible to being hacked because of the outdated nature of most encryption protocols. When traffic travels on the public internet, it is exposed, which means technically anybody else who is connected can access that information. If your data is routed through different parts of the internet, each part has a risk of being hacked, which further increases the surface of attack.
Additionally, having a device advertised on the public internet makes it susceptible to someone finding it and figuring out how to hack it. For example, if a smart doorbell is connected to the public internet, people know it exists, and can hack into several similar devices to create, say, a botnet.

Why Private LTE offers more security

The main trouble with cybersecurity is that it’s designed to resist cyber attacks. Occasionally, security protocols fail, for one reason or another.
Think of all the webcams, video doorbells, baby monitors, and other devices that have been breached—even though industry standard security protocols were in place—because the owner forgot to change the default administrator password.
A better solution would be to avoid cyber attacks altogether. If your connected devices never need to touch the public internet, there are fewer possible attack vectors, and therefore fewer cyber attacks to fend off.
A private network is more secure simply because it will be targeted less than a public internet connection.

Why Private LTE offers better access to IoT devices

Connecting devices directly to your private network or applications hosted on your CSP infrastructure enables you to communicate with those devices the same way you would communicate with devices that are on your corporate network and all without storing SDKs or credentials on devices.
Terminating your devices on your own network makes testing and troubleshooting devices remotely easier and more efficient.
Packet Gateways (PGWs) are the interface between our roaming partners, the public internet, and customer cloud infrastructure. They serve as the anchor point for network mobility and act as the Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF), manage quality of service (QoS), and provide deep-packet inspection and lawful intercept. By siloing this piece of infrastructure, Telnyx can offer a huge amount of control to our customers. In setting up private LTE networks, Telnyx customers can create their own private PGW for maximum control and security.

Why Private LTE Networks Offer Better Control

Connecting devices directly to your private network or applications hosted on your CSP infrastructure enables you to communicate with those devices the same way you would communicate with devices that are on your local network.
This means that you have more control over your private network than you do over the internet.
You can set rules for the type of traffic that’s allowed to originate from your SIM cards and traverse your LTE network. This further enhances security, since unauthorized traffic is easily detected. But it also reduces potential congestion issues caused by disorganized connections on a network. So your private LTE connections are more reliable and yield higher performance than connecting over the public internet.

How Private LTE Networks can be used

The security, control, and access you get from a private LTE network enables you to leverage private cellular networks in many unique use cases.
Let’s say you have a smart doorbell and want to deploy it to over 1 million customers in 7 different geographies. If you were doing this through the public internet, you would need to connect to a public IP address, find a port, and authenticate your identity to access each device. In this case, all of your data would be exposed to the public internet and susceptible to security risks every step of the way. Even if you use a VPN, your devices are exposed to the public internet.
Leveraging Telnyx’s private LTE networks means that you can simplify this process while increasing security. Once you purchase your SIMs, you can connect them directly to your corporate network, see their IP address on your private network, and access them directly without advertising anything on the public internet.
Here are IoT projects across different industry verticals which may benefit from the security and control of private LTE networks:
  • Healthcare applications.
  • Vehicle tracking and connectivity.
  • Remote locking systems.
  • Wide area scooter and bike sharing.
  • Smart city IoT.
  • Home security systems.
  • Payment terminals.
The list goes on, but private networks are also ideal for the early stages of IoT projects. It’s much easier to set up, access, and troubleshoot developing IoT devices and projects when all the IoT devices are connected to a private network that you have complete control over.

What Makes Telnyx the top Private LTE Network Vendor?

Telnyx is the private LTE provider of choice for small to mid sized companies. While big MNOs have a lengthy procurement process, our self service portal and API make it easy to purchase and configure your SIMs, and spin up a fully secure, private LTE network. We have low barriers to entry, so it’s possible to start with a low volume of SIMs and flexibly scale up your wireless applications as your business needs grow.
Plus, Telnyx Wireless comes with out out-of-the-box features like:
  • Full control over traffic routing and management.
  • Connect SIMs to your corporate network and mobile terminate to them anytime with ease.
  • Secure, encrypted data - inaccessible from the public internet.
  • Access to granular data including time stamped sessions and SIM groups for fleet management at scale.
  • API reference, developer documentation, and easy-to-use portal to empower your business to minimize the time for procurement and integration.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with our team of experts to learn more about building your private LTE network on Telnyx, or sign up for the Mission Control portal to order your SIM card and start building with a free $10 credit!
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