Private mobile network is not a new concept at all, and it is becoming more usual since 5G technologies are being deployed all over the world. Also, regulators are offering companies the opportunity of buying its own 5G spectrum and deploy its own 5G private network.
According to Ericsson Technology, Media, and Telecommunications report, 5G has the potential to become the world’s predominant LAN and WAN technology over the next 10 to 20 years, especially in greenfield builds, reducing their usage of wired connections. And more! IDC predicts that the global private 4G/5G infrastructure market will hit almost $6 billion by 2024.
But thinking about it, could this news be an opportunity or a threat for telecom operators?
What is a 5G Private Network?
First, a private mobile network is a network infrastructure that is not shared, being exclusively used by devices authorized by the end user organization. This means that a 5G private network is a mobile network that is built specifically for an individual organization, so there is no concern about the impact of public users on the number of devices that can be connected or other network performance indicators.
If organizations start building their own private networks, it’s easy to understand that they will spend less or nothing at all with operators.
Why are organizations adopting 5G private networks?
It is much easier to purchase connectivity from operators, so what is the motivation of organizations to get its own 5G private networks? The answer is the unique features that these types of networks can bring to companies.
According to GSMA, these are some of the main benefits of choosing 5G private networks instead of other options including wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi or unlicensed wireless networks:
5G private network offer more flexibility and the deployment is way more efficient
It’s still expensive and difficult moving cables and all the equipment used when reconfiguring wired Ethernet networks.
Coverage in all environments
Private networks remove all difficulties in what comes to wired connectivity in different environments. These networks deliver the required coverage and capacity with high quality.
Strict security, privacy and data isolation requirements can be achieved through the advanced range of features available with 5G.
Better connectivity for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous vehicles need several characteristics to work in a safe way. They need highly targeted, high bandwidth coverage, predictable error and delay characteristics, and device capacity to ensure efficiency and safety. Congested networks are not beneficial to these vehicles.
It can be reduced when local edge equipment is installed for the private network as there is no longer a need to transmit ‘user’ data across sometimes large distances.
Independency of public mobile networks
This is one of the main and more expected benefits. If companies are not dependent on the rollout plans of public mobile network operator, the bandwidth can be delivered at scale to suit the needs of the organization.
5G network slicing
The 5G network slicing can be equally applicable to private networks to allow partitioning of devices and applications.
Although all of this benefits, a large part of the companies are not prepared for this transition and operators play a critical role to enable 5G private networks.
The opportunity for Telcos
Although 5G private network looking to be a threat to operators it can become into an opportunity jus like happened when with private 4G.
The development of a cellular network requires people with expertise in the area, especially if it’s 5G since it’s the newest technology. Since not all organizations are familiarized with 5G, telcos have an important role with its services.
As said before, when private 4G started to appear, companies often outsourced design and deployment to a specialist. Sometimes it was an infrastructure vendor or systems integrator and others, it was a mobile operator, so this model is predicted to be a necessity for organizations looking to get 5G private networks.
Mobile operators also started to offer private networks as a service, providing the spectrum and outsources the managed services.
Although 5G private networks started to be seen as negative and as a new challenge for operators, according to last technologies developments, in reality, it will become a huge opportunity for them, enabling the offer of new services to companies with no knowledge in 5G technology.