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5G Perspective

Private 5G network use cases and deployment for enterprises

India is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of 5G deployment. The country has already launched commercial 5G services in a few cities, and more cities are expected to be covered in the coming months. India is also setting up 100 labs across the country for developing 5G-driven applications. 5G subscriptions in India are likely to hit 350 million by 2026.

India has covered more than 700 districts with 5G in less than 250 days. Telcos have deployed more than 2 lac BTSs since the launch of 5G services i.e. 1st Oct, 2022 till 31st May, 2023. However, 65% telecom towers need fiberisation; 12L towers to be deployed to make India 5G-ready. 38 per cent of telecom towers are fiberised and nearly 7,60,000 towers are deployed in India.

With 5G focusing on enhanced speed and capacity and ultra-low latency, Low Power Base Transceiver Stations (LPBTSs) or small cells will help efficiently enable the same in hyper-dense areas and as per the application requirements providing scalability at low cost. Ergo, the enablement and overall shift towards 5G commercial rollouts is majorly dependent on large scale deployment of small cells.

The use of street furniture is extremely crucial to ensure a successful 5G rollout. Street poles, electricity poles, gazebos, vestibules, bus stands, hoarding poles etc. all can be utilized for deploying small cells – and keeping due consideration for the appearance aesthetics, the minimalist design of the small cells can be tailored to not disturb the appearance of the street infrastructure. DISCOM-owned street infrastructure poles are also paramount for deploying aerial fibre optics which is a cost-efficient solution to provide fibre connectivity across India.

Fiberization is what has led us to the age of accelerated evolution in mobile networks and is going to be the single most important benefactor in achieving our goals towards connectivity. I would like to highlight that despite of having such a magnanimous user base, Fibre kilometre (fkm) per capita in India is much less compared to several other key markets. The fkm per capita for China with 130 cr people is 0.87, while for India with 120 cr people, it is just 0.09 (i.e., one-tenth of Chinese consumption).

Stressing upon the importance of Aerial Fibre Deployment; I would like to highlight that Aerial Fibre Deployment is a cost-effective solution in rural or low-density areas. It also addresses terrain challenges where digging/trenching may not be feasible, it is also less expensive to deploy aerial fibre compared to underground fibre deployment, and it enables reuse of existing poles thereby reducing installation costs & expenditure.

Private 5G network
Private 5G networks are a type of wireless network that is owned and operated by a single enterprise. They offer a number of advantages over public 5G networks, including:

  • Enhanced security: Private 5G networks can be more easily secured than public 5G networks, as the enterprise has complete control over the network infrastructure. This is important for enterprises that need to protect sensitive data or applications.
  • Improved performance: Private 5G networks can provide better performance than public 5G networks, as they are not shared with other users. This is important for enterprises that need to support high-bandwidth applications, such as real-time video streaming or machine learning.
  • Greater flexibility: Private 5G networks can be customized to meet the specific needs of the enterprise. This is in contrast to public 5G networks, which are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of users.

As a result of these advantages, private 5G networks are becoming increasingly popular among enterprises.

Use cases of private 5G network
Some of the key use cases for private 5G networks in enterprises include:

  • Manufacturing: Private 5G networks can be used to automate manufacturing processes, improve quality control, and reduce downtime. For example, 5G-enabled robots can be used to perform dangerous or repetitive tasks, and 5G-connected sensors can be used to monitor equipment and detect potential problems before they occur.
  • Healthcare: Private 5G networks can be used to improve patient care, reduce costs, and enhance research. For example, 5G-enabled devices can be used to remotely monitor patients in critical care, and 5G-connected robots can be used to perform surgery.
  • Logistics: Private 5G networks can be used to improve the efficiency of logistics operations, such as tracking shipments and managing inventory. For example, 5G-enabled drones can be used to inspect cargo containers, and 5G-connected sensors can be used to track the temperature and humidity of food products.
  • Retail: Private 5G networks can be used to improve the customer experience, such as providing real-time inventory information and enabling mobile payments. For example, 5G-enabled beacons can be used to track customers’ movements in a store, and 5G-connected cameras can be used to provide virtual assistance to customers.

Private 5G network for enterprises

The deployment of private 5G networks for enterprises is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. Some of the key considerations for deploying a private 5G network include:

  • The size and scope of the network: The size and scope of the network will determine the type of equipment and infrastructure that is needed. For example, a small network for a single manufacturing plant will require different equipment than a large network for a multinational corporation.
  • The budget: The cost of deploying a private 5G network can vary depending on the size and scope of the network, as well as the type of equipment and infrastructure that is needed.
  • The regulatory environment: The regulatory environment in the region where the network is being deployed will need to be considered. For example, some countries require enterprises to obtain a license before deploying a private 5G network.
  • The level of technical expertise: The enterprise will need to have the necessary technical expertise to deploy and manage a private 5G network. This may require hiring third-party vendors or consultants.
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