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5G Perspective

Cellular 2.0: Private Wireless (LTE/5G) Network

Globally, the private wireless network has taken a radical shift in developed countries such as the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Japan. Government authorities have rolled out licensed and unlicensed frequency bands, specifically for enterprises to accelerate the deployment of private wireless networks. For instance, the US has released CBRS bands in 3.5-3.7 GHz frequency bands.

As a result, businesses have witnessed the wide-scale implementation of private LTE networks, resulting in improved business operations and increased revenues. On a similar line, telecom regulatory authorities of France, the UK, and Germany have introduced licensed/unlicensed bands to accelerate digitalization and automation in industrial sectors. Japan has spurred the demand for private wireless networks in the manufacturing, utilities, and mining sectors with the help of MulteFire.

Business model
Businesses can deploy private wireless networks using two business models: Do It Yourself (DIY) and As-a-Service. These models include telecom operators, neutral host operators, managed service providers, and system integrators. In the DIY model, enterprises can design and develop their private wireless network with the help of infrastructure or technology vendors while in the As-a-Service model telecom operators (own frequency bands) or neutral host operators help businesses build and operate wireless networks. The As-a-Service model helps businesses focus on business objectives and reduces operational costs drastically.

Market dynamics
The private wireless market is mainly driven by structural changes in businesses with openness toward advancing the existing infrastructure to cope with the upcoming technologies and support digital transformation initiatives. Industrial sectors have struggled with the convergence of IT and OT networks. The existing wireless networks are not efficient to manage and scale up with the current requirements of businesses. Smart factories and industrial automation require a high level of network performance with greater bandwidth, wider coverage, higher security, and low latency. The advancement in technologies has proliferated mobility devices, robots, AGVs, cranes, and UAVs. These devices demand higher network bandwidth that can support connectivity to millions of devices on the go and maintain optimum performance.

Lower total cost of ownership and higher scalability
The new trends in the telecom infrastructure have minimized the TCO for the deployment of private wireless networks. Cloudification, virtualization, SDN, cloud-native computing, and open networking have witnessed strong demand in private LTE/5G networks across the globe. These technologies in amalgamation with edge computing and AI help businesses reap optimum benefits from private networks. Government authorities are acting as a catalyst by releasing unlicensed and shared frequency bands for businesses. As a result, the overall capital and operational expenditure are reducing drastically.

Private LTE/5G network
Businesses opt for either private LTE or private 5G networks. Both networks offer optimum network performance for enterprises’ mission-critical business applications. Private LTE prevails in businesses due to advancements in the ecosystem, the availability of frequency bands, and the development of customer devices, such as tablets, routers, gateways, and rugged IoT devices. The private LTE network facilitates adequate and reliable network connectivity and bandwidth for new emerging use cases. Similarly, the private 5G network delivers ultra-high bandwidth and low-latency connectivity for advanced use cases, such as factory automation, autonomous vehicles (level 4 and 5), remote robotics surgery, and logistics automation. Businesses must make a strategic decision while selecting a private wireless network whether private LTE or private 5G network.

Yogesh Desale, Senior Research Analyst- Telecom Domain, MarketsandMarkets Research have also contributed to the article

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