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NTT Pushes Las Vegas Toward Tech Hub Status with Large Private Network

By Greg Tavarez

Private networks are in the midst of being deployed more commonly worldwide with the Global Mobile Suppliers Association revealing in its “Private Mobile Networks August 2022” report that 66 mobile network operators are involved in private network projects across 70 countries/territories. Two reasons as to why deployments increased is due to the fact that private networks are flexible and offer increased security.

Private 5G networks, for example, are often used in the manufacturing and energy sectors to increase efficiency and reliability. But what if a city wanted to implement a private 5G network across public spaces to benefit law enforcement, education and healthcare?

Las Vegas originally partnered with NTT in 2018 to implement smart solutions to improve safety, situational awareness, traffic congestion and wrong-way driving. This made Las Vegas a smart city, but the city wanted to further its ambition to become a technology hub for citizens, government and organizations. To get to that target, NTT will deploy a private 5G network expansion throughout the city of Las Vegas.

The network will extend across public spaces which is different from the norm of most Citizens Broadband Radio Spectrum (CBRS) deployments. NTT will work with partners to more than double the number of network access points throughout Las Vegas.

The goal is for the network to serve as an open platform available to local businesses, government and educational institutions for deploying innovative solutions that will enhance the lives of Las Vegas citizens and visitors.

“The city of Las Vegas network will drive innovation and be a model for cities and businesses worldwide. It will be the largest open, municipal network CBRS deployment in the U.S.,” said Shahid Ahmed, group EVP of new ventures and innovation at NTT. 

NTT customizes network services through its open network to fit varying requirements for existing and new applications, whether involving full stack, edge or smart solutions. Its P5G platform encompasses the LTE/5G network as a service that integrates security, control and privacy by design. This allows enterprises and other customers to flexibly secure, scale and segment their networks. P5G LAN technology provider Celona will work with NTT on this project.

Initial use cases in Las Vegas will include improved remote learning connectivity and applications for Clark County School District students and intelligent monitoring systems, including motion-sensing cameras, in parks, event venues, traffic-congested areas and other city locations to assist law enforcement. In healthcare, the network will offer Las Vegas better connectivity for residents, giving them access to more services such as telehealth.

“With the support of NTT’s bespoke services, local organizations can use their own devices and develop their applications on the network,” said Ahmed. “Residents and visitors will receive improved connectivity, safety and security, and access to healthcare and other critical services.”

As additional use cases arise, the network will become a framework for revenue generation that can improve the city’s bottom line while supporting network maintenance, expansion and enhancement.

Although known for the phrase, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” Las Vegas and NTT will establish a network model that other cities across the country will look to replicate.

Edited by Erik Linask
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