Verizon combines its widespread LTE service with Private IP

Businesses can transmit video and other rich files wirelessly, securely, Verizon says

Verizon announced Wednesday it has combined its 4G LTE wireless access, which is now deployed in more than 200 cities, with its Private IP network service to give business users secure, high-speed Internet access.

Verizon started rolling out its Private IP Wireless LTE in January. The service is already used by about two dozen business customers.

Until now, Private IP was available over Verizon's EV-DO wireless network, which first became available in 2008, said Peter Konings, Verizon's director of global product management, in an interview. About 190,000 customers use the Private IP over EV-DO option.

With the new service, customers with LTE smartphones and tablets and LTE modems for their laptops can access the nearest cell tower and will then be routed to an enterprise gateway in one of many Verizon switching centers, Konings said. Data routed to and through the enterprise gateway is encoded, but not encrypted, and kept totally separate from the public Internet. Encryption of the data can be added, if desired.

At a Verizon switching center, the data then also joins Verizon's global MPLS network, Konings said.

Verizon demonstrated ATM cash machines that are connected to its LTE network at CES in January, but the company didn't describe its Private IP connection, which can be used to keep transactions secure and will allow a bank to move an ATM more easily to a new location.

LTE speeds, generally described by Verizon as 10 times faster than EV-DO, will also be useful for quickly activating remote digital signs and can even be used for transmitting video wirelessly, he said.

A news report with video can be transmitted over the Private IP LTE network instead of a more expensive satellite connection, he said. Also, wireless over LTE could be used as a backup network or for routing data to storage.

"With faster speeds, companies can provide many more apps [wirelessly] than before," he said. Verizon describes its LTE speeds for consumers as averaging 10 Mbps on downlinks, with up to 2 Mbps on uplinks.

In addition to wireless data costs, the only cost to a business for Private IP over LTE is a $500 one-time charge to create a mobile private network, which can serve up to 1,000 sites, Konings said.

With previous Private IP networks, networking gear was needed to support IPsec software, but IPsec software is unavailable on tablets and the network gear routing IPsec is eliminated, reducing potential costs, he added.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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