Australia's leading specialist in fibre and network solutions, Vocus, has completed the acquisition of Challenge Networks, a leading provider of private LTE and 5G networks. This move enables Vocus to further strengthen its capabilities in designing, constructing, and managing private LTE and 5G networks, extending the benefits to a larger customer base, according to the company update.
Also Read: Vocus to Acquire Challenge Networks
Challenge Networks Expertise
Challenge Networks brings substantial experience in establishing greenfield networks for the mining industry, having successfully deployed private LTE and 5G networks for leading resources companies in Australia as well as over 20 other networks worldwide.
According to the statement, Vocus customers can fund their private LTE/5G network through a subscription fee akin to a mobile plan rather than having to cover the capital cost of network construction upfront.
By integrating Challenge Networks into its operations, Vocus empowers its customers to deploy private LTE/5G networks that leverage Vocus' extensive national fibre and low earth orbit satellite networks.
This integration facilitates comprehensive solutions, including data centre hosting, managed security services, wide area connectivity for multiple sites, and fully managed offerings.
Mobile Spectrum Assets
What sets this acquisition apart is Challenge Networks' ownership of substantial mobile spectrum assets, making it one of the largest holders in Australia. Private LTE and 5G Networks require a dedicated mobile spectrum.
The company holds mobile spectrum across Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, and the Northern Territory, where the country's resources industry predominantly operates.
This advantage allows Vocus to expedite the construction of mobile networks for customers, avoiding the challenges associated with accessing the mobile spectrum.
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Advantage of Private LTE/5G over Wi-Fi
Private LTE/5G networks offer several advantages over Wi-Fi, especially in large specialized sites like mines, airports, military bases, and transport corridors. While deploying Wi-Fi across such expansive areas can be costly and complex, private mobile networks offer a more cost-effective and reliable alternative.
Private mobile networks can deliver significant overall cost savings by utilizing just a few mobile towers across an entire site. Additionally, they provide stability, predictability, enhanced performance, and superior service characteristics. With licensed mobile spectrum and SIM card access control, bandwidth can be monitored and controlled in real-time.
Industries that will benefit from private mobile networks
Industries that will greatly benefit from private mobile networks include mining and resources, where remote locations and vast areas pose significant connectivity challenges, said Vocus. Moreover, a growing number of sectors, such as public safety, defence, utilities, logistics, and renewable energy, are increasingly adopting private LTE/5G technology due to its numerous advantages over other network options.
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Satellite Backhaul for Private Mobile Network
Another notable aspect is the potential for Vocus Satellite, particularly the Starlink service, to provide backhaul connectivity to private mobile networks, offering fibre-like performance throughout Australia.
This acquisition cements Vocus as a comprehensive provider of fibre, satellite, and private LTE/5G solutions, offering customers a wide array of connectivity options and managed services tailored to their specific requirements.
The company says, With the integration of Challenge Networks' expertise and resources, Vocus is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for advanced connectivity solutions in various industries.