Private 5G networks to transform corporations
The world has been talking about 5G for years, and public networks are deployed in 58 countries as of June 2021, according to GSA; 5G networks are expected to reach a billion users by 2023, according to CCS Insight.
However, private 5G networks is an aspect of 5G that has been receiving less media attention over the last few years. 5G was introduced as a means to unify all network needs, including IoT, data and voice communication, television, and many other usages.
Numerous corporations are setting up private 5G networks taking advantage of the capacity of the technology to support ten times more services than 4G while significantly reducing their energy consumption. Private 5G brings several advantages including Ultra Reliable, Low-Latency Communications (URLLC), enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC), and support for strict security, privacy and data isolation requirements. Private 5G is bringing an efficient alternative to the numerous legacy networks used in corporations built on different technologies with different purposes. Unifying all communications on a single technology with a single rights management process will undoubtedly bring substantial gains in efficiency along with significant expense reductions.
Numerous examples of private 5G networks are already in deployment: for instance, according to a white paper by Mobile World Live, healthcare facilities in Los Angeles value private 5G for its ability to securely transmit large image files, while Siemens, in Germany, is using private 5G to enable mobile robots, autonomous vehicles, and augmented reality applications.
IDC estimates that the market for 5G private cellular network infrastructure will reach US$ 5.7 billion (EUR 4.9 billion) by 2024.
Private 5G networks can be implemented in a variety of manners: in some cases, mobile network operators can dedicate a part of their public network for private use and set up the appropriate security policies to build a virtual private network. Otherwise, corporations are in a position to deploy and operate their own private 5G networks, thanks to adapted offers from infrastructure vendors.
All hypotheses are open to anticipate which business model will prevail for private 5G networks: will MNOs supply the bulk of services by dedicating part of their public networks or will the market be taken by infrastructure providers who will directly deal with corporate customers? Also, intermediate solutions are likely to happen where enterprises will set up a hybrid network thanks to their own infrastructure for a part and have a private use of public networks for more remote parts, while giving users a unified access to services. Already, operators including Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Vodafone propose hybrid 5G network solutions that offer flexibility by incorporating both public and private networks.
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