Private 5G Network – Enabling Enterprise Connectivity
5G has taken the world by a storm. Unprecedented speeds, amplified capacities, low latency, and many more firsts mark the advent of the 5G era, making it hands down, among man’s greatest inventions since the wheel! In the short time span since its roll-out in 2019, the fifth-generation technology standard has enabled many industries to harness new-age technologies like IoT and AI to improve productivity, connectivity, and operational flexibility.
With 5G mobile networks now moving towards becoming a tangible reality, more and more enterprises are exploring the idea of deploying their own private 5G networks for increased control & security, reliable coverage, and better preparedness for technologies such as IoT. But what is a private 5G network? What opportunities does it offer a business? And how does it represent a radical shift in the way an enterprise uses connectivity technologies?
Let’s demystify private 5G networks for you.
What is a Private 5G Network?
A private 5G network is like a Local Area Network (LAN). The prime difference between the two is that instead of using Ethernet or Wi-Fi to connect to servers or devices, a private 5G network uses a 5G capable spectrum to build a dedicated bandwidth and infrastructure for an enterprise. Built with a company’s dedicated micro towers and small cells, a private 5G network enables businesses to use all inherent benefits of 5G technology to design and manage their connectivity needs independently, without the need for a public service provider.
Global Private 5G Industry Outlook
While the wide-scale rollout of public 5G deployment is still in its nascent stage, private 5G is emerging as a preferred choice among many businesses worldwide, and they are actively exploring how to design in-house 5G networks.
Private 5G network is fast gaining foothold worldwide as it arms industries with high-performing networks and helps augment the operations of technologies like robotics, heavy machinery automation, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), drone, sensor technology, and others. Also, addressing the growing call for customized wireless communication in operations of industries, public safety, and other domains, is leading to a rise in demand for private 5G networks across the world.
Moreover, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an overload on the Wi-Fi hotspots, which has resulted in a rise in demand for higher capacity and data speeds. This has further led to an increasing interest in private 5G networks among organizations, regulators, manufacturers, and other potential users globally.
Worldwide escalation in the application and technological development are further fueling the demand for private 5G networks, and the segment is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years.
How Does a Private 5G Network Benefit an Enterprise?
Why would an enterprise want to take on the additional cost and control of designing and managing their network?
Well, because, despite the complexity of independently managed in-house 5G networks, studies show the advantages outweigh the expenses that come with building one’s systems.
Unlike public networks, private 5G networks can be configured and customized keeping in mind business-type, size, and operator’s specific needs. From offering benefits like enhanced security, network slicing, far lower latency, superior bandwidth to improved Quality of Service (QoS), among others, a private 5G network is fast proving to be a cornerstone of industrial digital transformation.
Stand-out Features of a Private 5G Network
Superior Service Security
Among all the benefits of using a private 5G network, security plays a pivotal role. Private 5G offers a more secure and tamper-proof network, vis-a-vis current wireless networks as it is a superior service security model designed on SIM-based authentication, instead of password protection in Wi-Fi systems. The data is more secure as it is segregated and processed locally and separately from public 5G networks. Also, all security policies and protocols can be custom-designed and controlled within the organization, without having to rely on external service providers
Network slicing allows the network to be optimized for the needs of specific user groups, devices, or applications within the same infrastructure. A key feature in 5G, network slicing essentially allocates bandwidth based on priority. For example, in the industrial sector, devices that rely on low latency can be given priority connection over sensors which require significantly less data throughput.
Better Control & Reliability
By adopting a private 5G model, an enterprise gains more control and management of its operating processes. It can decide who all can connect at a given time and place, and which data can be accessed by whom, within the site. This also helps in safeguarding and steering local communication and information exchange on the network and further ensures better reliability, resilience, and predictability.
Quality of Service
Quality of Service (QoS) comprises factors such as latency, throughput, and more. Running private networks on dedicated and customized 5G spectrum offers the possibility to control each such factor. This ensures enhanced service quality. Moreover, system performance and deployment of resources for different services can be customized to specific needs within the private network.
A private 5G provides a devoted network to the business, ensuring only authorized users can access the network at a particular time. It will ensure that there is no risk of network congestion. This is especially beneficial for industries like healthcare, manufacturing, etc., where increasingly critical IoT devices which require dedicated, seamless and low-latency connectivity are being used.
Since the network delay between the device and the application server is only several milliseconds in a private 5G network, URLLC ( Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications) application services can be easily implemented. The ultra-low and controlled latency of a 5G network enables near real-time communication between hundreds of thousands of IoT devices, a critical aspect in applications like public safety or robotic motion control.
The ability of a private 5G network to interwork with public networks is an important capability. It requires a high level of integration between networks, and private 5G can be designed for such seamless integration when required. For example, many critical healthcare services like ambulances require service continuity when moving from one network to another, say from private to a public network. Therefore, the channels of interworking must be always well oiled and readily deployable in specific scenarios.
A private 5G network can easily replace bulky and tough-to-manage wired networks by offering easily deployable, beneficial, and advanced wireless technologies to an enterprise, positioning itself as a frontrunner in industrial 4.0.
So, as we can surmise, a private 5G network brings with it new possibilities and a wide range of benefits. However, every innovation also comes with some challenges, some teething issues. Listed below are a few bumps that businesses should be mindful of when exploring private 5G networks.
Potential Challenges of a Private 5G Network
High Deployment Cost
Deploying a fully loaded private 5G network comes at a cost, which is not easy for smaller enterprises. This is where they can take the help of professional setups well equipped with the know-how of building a private 5G spectrum and can guide the company to achieve the purpose at optimal cost.
Lack of Qualified Technical & Operational Talent
The existing private LAN (wired Ethernet LAN, wireless Wi-Fi LAN) operation team does not have the know-how to build and operate private 5G networks. Therefore, getting access to a 5G-ready team can pose a challenge. However, reaching out to professionals who are future-ready in 5G technologies can help take care of this dilemma quite easily.
Susceptible to Cyber Crimes
Faster networks come with some security risks as well. For example, ultra-low latency and high speed can also inadvertently create new avenues for cyber-criminals, as more and more systems go wireless, it opens up more sources that might be susceptible to hacking. Therefore, businesses must take all steps to secure their networks by investing in the latest security systems, such as firewalls, VPNs, malware software, and putting both intrusion detection and prevention systems in place.
Use Cases of Private 5G Installation
Although 5G is still years away from going mainstream, some enterprises have already started rolling out use cases that show the promise of delivering a profitable ROI (Return on Investment) by transforming private networking infrastructure.
According to Deloitte Insights, around a third of the 2020-2025 private 5G market, measured in USD, will come from ports, airports, and similar logistics hubs, identified as the first movers.
The report further predicts that another third of the total private 5G opportunity will come from factories and warehouses. The final third of the 5G market is expected to consist of greenfield installations, especially on campuses.
A 2019 study commissioned by Ericsson predicts the value of the global market of 5G-enabled B2B opportunities across 10 industries to reach $700 billion by 2030.
It is evident from the study that 5G-enabled technologies have a broad scope not only in terms of industries they are relevant to but also in terms of the range of application possible within each sector.
Private 5G network are characterized by security and privacy, control and flexibility, leveraged by network slicing, low latency, and Quality of Service. Therefore, the use cases will cover a wide base, of which the biggest chunk will be in the automation and IoT domains.
Accelerating the Transformation: Amantya Technologies
At Amantya Technologies, we have paved the way for next-generation wireless, LTE, and 5G services, and are committed to investing in developing and supporting solutions for the digital transformation of the communication industry.
5G is the future of wireless network technology and will fuel innovation, transforming the way we do business. Already ahead of the curve, Amantya has proven experience in helping Operators, OEMs & Service Providers by enabling 5G Simulation, devices, network test automation, and simplifying the 5G network deployment and operations. We help our clients accelerate their 5G journey with end-to-end offerings that span across Access Networks, Cloud-native 4G/5G Integrated Core.
Partnering with us in this exciting journey to adopt 5G is Aarna Networks. Our partnership brings to the table joint expertise that will be particularly useful in helping our clients move into the next phase of digital transformation with a private 5G network. Amantya’s Cloud-Native 5G Core (5G SA Core), coupled with Aarna Network’s Multi-Cluster Orchestration Platform (AMCOP) holds the key to many future innovations in 5G, including our enterprise clients’ exploring the private 5G networks to scale and digitally transform their business.
Team Amantya has decades of experience in enterprise-managed networks and helping organizations unlock their mobile potential to modernize operations, drive innovation, and reduce costs. With the emergence of 5G, and our expertise in all its domains, including private 5G networks, globally, we are well equipped to help businesses leverage our expertise to build and operate their own private 5G networks.
Furthermore, we take a bespoke approach to private networking to ensure that only best-fit vendor equipment is used to meet our clients’ brief for a secure, robust, and reliable private network experience.
In the current fast-paced and disruptive digital transformation landscape, the demands of industrial automation and communications technology are converging, heralding a scenario where widespread enterprise 5G adoption is not only a distinct possibility but an absolute necessity. So, let’s get a move on, and join the bandwagon to digital transformation.
Want to explore a bespoke private 5G network solution, and the opportunities we can help you unlock? We would love to hear from you.