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80% of CIOs and senior leaders plan to deploy private 5G networks within the next 24 months

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A new report shows that there is a significant and growing interest in private 5G networks, with 90% of executives surveyed expecting that private 5G will become the standard network choice.

The report, ‘Private 5G here and now’ by global technology and business solutions provider NTT, reveals insights from a survey of 216 CIOs and senior decision-makers from the UK, US, Japan, and Germany, examining the industry challenges around the implementation and adoption of private 5G.

Where is private 5G being deployed?

The research shows that just over half of companies (51%) planning to deploy a private 5G network will do so within the next six to 24 months to improve security, reliability, and speed, with 30% of these respondents already deploying or being in the process of deploying a private 5G network.

The most significant interest is from German organisations, with 40% of German businesses deploying private 5G networks. This is followed by 28% of UK firms, 26% of Japanese firms and 24% of American firms.

The majority (80%) of executives agree that Covid-19 has made it easier to secure the budget needed for 5G deployment. This attitude is strongest in Germany (93%), followed by the US (83%), the UK (77%) and Japan (65%).

Security concerns are accelerating

With ransomware on the rise, the CIO and CISO are looking for ways to shore up their defences against increasingly sophisticated attacks. The report finds that 69% of executives agree that that the security of their current infrastructure is not strong enough.

Other pain points include the control of enterprise data (48%), coverage and speed (43%) and the response time (latency) of their current service provider (40%). When compared with technologies such as Wi-Fi and Public 5G, private 5G networks provide significantly more security capabilities.

83% of executives rate improved data privacy and security as a very important outcome they expect to achieve with the implementation of private 5G networks. It is clear that CIOs want security and control while also enabling digitalization – and believe a local private 5G network will enable these critical business requirements. This is encouraging enterprises to build and run their own private 5G networks.

Challenges and successful deployment strategies

The report identifies that the most common (44%) barrier to deploying private 5G networks is integrating the technology with legacy systems and networks. The complexity surrounding the deployment and management of private 5G networks is also cited as another significant barrier by 37% of respondents. Employees lacking the technical skills and expertise to manage 5G networks is the third most common barrier facing 30% of firms.

This is one of the reasons why outsourcing to a managed service provider is the preferred approach by 38% of CIOs when it comes to implementing private 5G networks. Buying private 5G network ‘as-a-service’ can accelerate time to adoption and offer a better end-user experience and return on investment.

Private 5G powers digital transformation across industries

“The research highlights that the adoption of private 5G is happening now. The companies leveraging private 5G will have an unprecedented competitive advantage. Whether a company owns a factory floor, distribution centers, storefront or office space, private 5G can dramatically help digitize their businesses securely,” says Shahid Ahmed, Group EVP, New Ventures and Innovation at NTT Ltd.

Ahmed adds: “It’s no surprise that the pandemic accelerated digital transformation initiatives around the world, as organisations transitioned to new ways of working by combining the physical and virtual world. A key initiative was the adoption of private 5G networks, which we expect to gain further momentum in 2022. In fact, according to recent research from Economist Impact, commissioned by NTT, over 80% of CIOs and senior leaders have either already deployed or plan to deploy a private 5G network within the next 24 months.”

Ahmed concludes: “Offering improved security, greater reliability, and increased speeds, there is no denying the benefits of adopting private 5G, especially as organisations look to realise the promises of new technologies such as automation and IoT. With executives expressing serious pain points with their current network infrastructure, including security (69%), control of data (48%), coverage and speed (43%), those who adopt a private 5G network will have an unprecedented advantage over those who don’t. Whether the company owns a factory floor, distribution centre, storefront or office space, a private 5G network will significantly help them digitise their businesses and thrive within today’s competitive landscape.”

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