While telco operators have long resisted deploying private 5G/LTE networks, Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022 saw dozens of players from across the tech landscape formally enter or strengthen their position in the private 5G market, finds GlobalData.
The leading data and analytics company’s report, ‘2022 Predictions for the Enterprise: Next-Generation Networking’, predicted that most 5G business-to-business (B2B) market activity this year would focus on private 5G/LTE networks for industry.
John Marcus, Principal Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Telcos initially resisted the trend of private LTE and 5G networks, preferring instead to monetize their public network investments while testing B2B use cases such as connected car and smart factories. Given the scale of investment involved in 5G networks, the return-on-investment cycle is lengthy, and potentially threatened by dedicated private network solutions.
“Such networks are enabled by privately owned or unlicensed spectrum, meaning that a telco is not necessarily needed to create one, which has led to hardware vendors, system integrators, and cloud providers all getting in on the action. Even enterprises themselves can theoretically deploy their own private 5G network given the solutions available.”
At MWC 2022, key IT vendors HPE and Cisco made their first significant moves in private 5G networks, but the event was also notable for the number of telco operators announcing new services or collaborative partnerships for private 5G and the related area of edge computing. Operators in the US, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia launched new efforts in private 5G and edge, including the largest incumbents in some of those markets.
Marcus adds: “We have already observed European telcos enter the space, however, seeing operators from around the globe ‘give in’ to private 5G as the solution resonating most with today’s digitally transforming enterprises is notable, given the recent resistance of many of them.”