The business world is salivating over the potential of 5G: ultra-reliable and low-latency connectivity within a secure network, which has particular allure for mission-critical applications, such as public safety, transportation fleets, manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, and energy.
These organizations are creating high demand for private 5G networks as they see it as a way to increase productivity and operational efficiency.
Here are some of the top trends in the private 5G market:
See more: The Private 5G Market
1. Overtaking LTE
LTE can be regarded as the current standard. This 4G wireless communication network is in operation in most smartphones and many businesses.
But now with 5G growing in adoption, its days are numbered. But it will take time. Expect 4G devices to linger for several years and a constant barrage of ads about the glories of 5G networking and 5G private networks.
Dell’Oro Group predicts that 5G will surpass LTE as the dominant technology for private networks within the next four years, generating $1 billion in annual revenue.
Dell’Oro found 5G awareness among enterprises was improving but stated it will take time for companies to fully understand the value of private networks.
2. Transportation and manufacturing revolution
Private 5G networks are expected to transform the transportation and logistics industry by providing seamless vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) connectivity.
As such, the need to ensure a secure, seamless, and uninterrupted connectivity with ports, vessels, and ships is estimated to drive the market.
At the same time, the continued deployment of private 5G infrastructure is estimated to improve the operational efficiencies in several Industrial IoT (IIoT) use cases.
“The IIoT use cases include automated guided vehicles (AGV), wireless UHD cameras, machine control systems, collaborative/cloud robots, and remote asset monitoring,” said Alexander Bufalino, VP of global marketing, Quectel.
“Enterprises, too, are increasingly looking to deploy 5G private networks. In the U.S. and Europe, companies have acquired spectrum for this purpose, and the likes of John Deere are turning to 5G to enable their manufacturing facilities.”
3. The need for 5G security
With many sources speculating 40% growth in 5G between now and 2028 and a great many companies across industries adopting it, security becomes a matter of vital importance.
“Any technology which experiences a significant growth also attracts increased attention from attackers,” said Douglas McKee, principal engineer and director of vulnerability research, Trellix.
“The more utilized and widespread a technology, the more likely well-funded adversaries focus their efforts on understanding and attacking these networks. Understanding the security landscape and threat model of 5G will be crucial to securing these critical networks within high-value industrial targets.”
Expect, therefore, a few high-profile security issues during the early roll out of private 5G, followed by a rash of solutions aiming to fix the problem. Yes, in an ideal solution, security would be baked in during development and watertight. But experience has shown that bugs and holes are inevitable.
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4. Network customization
Melissa Doré, VP of community at Ori Industries, expects the roll out of 5G to lead to heavy customization of private 5G Networks to enable enterprises to meet specific needs, as they seek to harness the technology to increase efficiency and productivity.
“Manufacturing accounts for more than half of private 5G networks: leaders in the enterprise 5G space are operating large-scale distributed deployments,” Doré said.
“Such enterprises have specific needs for data sovereignty and network security: 5G networks need to be developed to protect organizational data, users, and devices.”
5. Ease of use
Wi-Fi used to be finicky in terms of setup, security protocols, and general ease of use. But such problems disappeared some years back. And with that, Wi-Fi prevalence grew dramatically.
It has reached the point where most homes now run Wi-Fi networks without having much of a clue about how they work or the underlying technology. That degree of simplicity needs to come to 5G for private 5G to move beyond the early adopter stage.
“Enterprises are not network operators, so we need to make private 5G, or cellular network operation, as easy as running Wi-Fi, with complete solutions that can be simply managed or rented,” said Dennis Hoffman, SVP and GM, Dell Technologies’ Telecom Systems Business.
“Manufacturing and retail are leading the way with private 5G, but we’re seeing interest from specialized verticals, like mining and theme parks. Industries with large, geographic areas that are contained can deliver far richer, more interesting customer experiences with private 5G. We’re at the beginning, but private 5G has the opportunity to positively transform business outcomes and revenues.”
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