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Four Private LTE Market Predictions

The private LTE market is expected to see significant growth in the next few years, as a mature LTE ecosystem makes LTE an increasingly attractive network technology choice for enterprises in a wide-ranging number of verticals.

“Private LTE networks are jumping ahead of the current market confusion about wireless connectivity
and … re-defining how value is created from devices and data,” Harbor Research said in a 2017 white paperabout trends in the private LTE space. “It treats user concerns—from reliability and service quality, to security and compliance—as challenges that can be addressed by a single, scalable wireless networking solution that leverages LTE’s technology and ecosystem benefits.”

“LTE is increasingly being viewed as an all-inclusive critical communications platform for the delivery of multiple mission-critical services ranging from PTT group communications to real-time video surveillance,” said Orbis Research in a report analyzing the private LTE and 5G opportunities between 2018 and 2023. “Organizations across the critical communications industry – from public safety agencies to railway operators – are making sizable investments in private LTE and 5G-ready networks.”

Here are four private LTE market predictions:

–Harbor Research’s report delves into the opportunity for “smart systems” based on private LTE, with revenues estimated at nearly $70 billion by 2023. Harbor sees particular opportunity in private LTE for mining ($5.5 billion in private LTE system revenues by 2023) and shipping ports ($2.4 billion by 2023). Harbor Research estimates that there are more than 14.5 million sites around the world where private LTE networks could potentially be deployed, from military bases and warehouses to hospitals,  industrial and manufacturing sites to mines.

-In its report that assessed private LTE alongside 5G, Orbis Research predicts that the market will reach $2.5 billion by the end of this year.

Orbis added that it “[expects]to see significant activity in the 3.5 GHz CBRS and 5 GHz unlicensed bands, to support private LTE and 5G network deployments across a range of environments, particularly enterprise buildings, public venues, factories and warehouses. To avoid the high costs associated with large-scale dedicated LTE networks, governments in a number of countries – predominantly in Europe – are encouraging the adoption of secure MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) arrangements that pair private mobile core platforms with commercial LTE networks to deliver broadband capabilities for critical communications users.”

-IHS Markit forecasts that the critical communications broadband LTE market — which includes private LTE for mission-critical enterprise communications as well as public safety LTE — will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20% until 2020 and reach $2.6 billion in revenues at that point.

“For critical communications users today, it is clearer than ever that LTE is the de facto broadband standard, with the option of private LTE networks a reality,” said Jesus Gonzalez, market analyst for critical communications at IHS Markit.

IHS Markit concluded that “initial deployments of private cellular networks have been small in scale and varied across several sectors” and that there is “evidence of systems deployments across China, the Middle East, the United States, Western Europe, and Australia, among others. … The Middle East and Africa region has had the fastest short-term growth rate of installed base of private LTE users, but the Asia Pacific region will continue to have the greatest share of the world private LTE users installed base in the upcoming years.”

-IDC sees substantial opportunity for private LTE for enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region. In a February 2018 report on the role of private LTE in enterprise network architectures, IDC predicted that by 2020, half of the industrial enterprises on the A1000 will have deployed private LTE networks “to improve their operations across the region.”

“Private LTE networks cater to a wide variety of enterprise use cases across manufacturing, utility, public safety, and venue services. Many of these industries will benefit from networks that allow them local control, low latency, and optimization,” said Shiv Putcha, associate research director for IDC Asia/Pacific consumer mobility and telco strategy. “LTE has several advantages over Wi-Fi, particularly in industrial environments, ranging from higher coverage and capacity to quality of service and built-in security. Although it is still early, case studies of private LTE deployments are already emerging across Asia, spanning ports, mining, and public transport. IDC believes that 2018 will see more deployments in the region and momentum building up.”  – RCR Wireless

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