Verizon launches wireless private network traffic management

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Some IoT functions would get higher priority than others in a crowded network

Verizon today introduced an LTE wireless traffic management service to give business and government customers the ability to prioritize critical network-based applications.

Verizon will offer different service levels, including a "mission critical" class, that a customer could use for video or voice over IP traffic. In that scenario, a customer could decide to prioritize video communications above emails or even lower-priority communications in a machine-to-machine network.

Verizon said it is the first U.S.-based carrier to offer such a service, which it calls Private Network Traffic Management. In addition to a mission critical class of service, there will be a class for public safety customers, including first responders, who need the highest transmission priority to enable communications so they can reach destinations quickly.

The service will work over both LTE wireless and wired communications and will segregate the priority communications from Verizon's public network. However, data traveling over the private network won't need virtual private network (VPN) protocols, according to Carlos Benavides, associate director of product management at Verizon.

Benavides predicted the biggest use of the private network will be to support Internet of Things buildouts. Many IoT installations operate with little computer processing power, so not needing a VPN with the private network could be an advantage, he said.

"Private network management is most needed in congested situations," he explained. "Customers will have a portion of LTE available for mission critical apps and the rest of their apps can be sent over the available LTE speed."

Verizon had not been able to offer quality of service choices in the past. Benavides said Verizon already serves millions of end users on what it calls its Verizon Private Network, but many customers had been asking for the ability to prioritize certain traffic. That network now handles wireless download speeds of up to 12 Mbps, and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps.

In several theoretical examples, Benavides explained how prioritization might be put to use. Priority might be placed on a car sending telematics data about its engine functions over infotainment data, he said. Or an ATM might be set to prioritize transmission of financial data over data used to advertise a bank's services.

Verizon didn't announce pricing for the service, but said there would be three levels of service: Enhanced, Premium and Public Safety.

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