Businesses are deploying private wireless networks. Most are 4G, but some are investing in 5G private wireless networks...
What are private 5G and LTE networks?
Private wireless LTE and 5G networks (referred to as “non-public networks” by 3GPP, the mobile telecommunications standards organization) are networks that use licensed, shared, or unlicensed wireless spectrum and LTE or 5G cellular networking base stations, small cells, and other Radio Access Network (RAN) infrastructure to transmit voice and data to edge devices, including smart phones, embedded modules, routers, and gateways.
LTE is a 4G cellular networking technology that offers secure, reliable, and fast connectivity. It is the same technology that you use today when you use your smart phone to call friends and family, check your email, play games, or watch videos.
5G is a new cellular network technology. 5G offers many performance advantages over LTE, including faster data transmission, lower latency, and the ability to connect to more edge devices. You should learn more about 5G, and how some of the performance advantages it offers will be evolutionary while others will be revolutionary.
Who can build a private wireless LTE network or private 5G network?
Pretty much any organization can set up and operate their own private wireless LTE or 5G network if they want to, just as anyone can set up and operate their own Wi-Fi network. They just need spectrum, network infrastructure equipment, and edge devices that can connect to this equipment.
Full Private wireless LTE and 5G networks require a higher initial capital investment than Wi-Fi and other networks. This is why organizations that are deploying or are considering deploying private LTE or 5G networks are generally organizations that need to provide connectivity to a large number of users and devices, or need to cover a large geographic area for IIoT applications.
Demand for private wireless networks and cellular networking equipment to support mission critical applications will see the market reach $5.7 billion by 2024. This is according to a new study by IDC.
A private wireless network, with cellular network services is one that provides dedicated access to a specific customer, using either licensed, unlicensed or shared spectrum, with no resources shared by any third party.
By pursuing this route, customers can define the scale, pace of rollout, and technology used, while guaranteeing a certain level of performance for their applications.
IDC says many businesses are deploying private 4G networks but some are starting to invest in private 5G infrastructure. Although 5G will result in more advanced consumer mobile data services, most operators consider the technology’s real potential to be in the business market.
5G promises ultrafast speeds, greater capacity, and ultra-low latency – characteristics that will allow mission critical business applications to be powered by a mobile network for the first time.
Such qualities will also pave the way for the creation of new, revolutionary use cases. These include the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), robotics and Mixed Reality, all of which require reliable, real-time transmission of data.
IDC says the market is being driven by mission critical, industrial, and traditional applications, and will grow at an annual rate of 43.4% over a five-year period.
“Private LTE infrastructure is already used by select verticals worldwide to solve mission-critical networking challenges. However, the barrier to consumption has remained high, limiting adoption to organizations possessing in-house competency and access to dedicated spectrum,”said Patrick Filkins, senior research analyst, IoT and Mobile Network Infrastructure.
“With more spectrum being made available for enterprise uses, coinciding with the arrival of commercial 5G, interest has grown toward using private LTE/5G solutions as a basis for connectivity across a multitude of mission-critical, industrial and traditional enterprise organisations.”
The growing popularity of private networks, coupled with 5G use cases, is accelerating the convergence of the telecoms and IT industry. For examples, telecoms equipment manufacturers such and mobile operators are partnering with cloud firms such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS).