5G Magazine – Private Networks Edition

5G Magazine - "Private Networks" edition provides an in-depth view of the current state of the global Private 5G Networks covering ecosystem players' expectations, challenges, strategies, deployments, architecture, and use cases. The featured articles/interview in this edition are from AT&T Business, Amdocs, OnGo/CBRS Alliance, and Capgemini Engineering. Additionally, we cover 27 ecosystem players, including network equipment vendors, mobile network operators, cloud/edge vendors, enterprises, CBRS spectrum operators, and private network specialists, including neutral hosts and system integrators. Sample ecosystem players we have included in this issue are Nokia, Ericsson, Rakuten, AT&T, Parallel Wireless, Verizon, Telefonica, Vodafone, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, Lufthansa, Celona, Federated Wireless, Athonet, and Airspan.

Featured articles in this edition

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The Private Network Revolution

With enterprises evolving their network needs and re-evaluating their connectivity requirements, private LTE/5G networks have emerged as the preferred option for supporting a wide range of use cases more effectively, while ensuring lower latency, greater security, and higher reliability. The prospects for organizations looking to deploy private wireless networks more easily and cost-effectively have improved significantly due to the convergence of several factors.

These include shared spectrum via CBRS in the US (with active progress elsewhere in the world to adopt similar models), the improvement in 5G standards and technology, and an expanded open ecosystem for RAN and core network components (e.g. TIP/OpenRAN, O-RAN, Open Source Core). At the same time, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has driven enterprises and institutions to develop innovative solutions using private networks to either drive efficiency or provide an alternative means for a connected user experience.

While the challenges and complexities of deploying and operating a private wireless network can become overwhelming, an evolving ecosystem of equipment suppliers, software providers, and systems integrators makes the task entirely feasible.



The essential role of systems integrators

But it is the role of the systems integrator (SI) specifically that ties it all together, helping enterprises across all stages of the lifecycle of deploying and operating private wireless networks. The process starts with working with the enterprise to fully analyze planned use-cases, specify network requirements and shortlist which technologies and solution characteristics are needed to meet the requirements.

The SI also helps identify the right radio access and core equipment/software providers (including network cloud options), and in many cases, also sources/procures them as part of the overall engagement by leveraging existing reseller agreements with technology providers.

While on the surface, such tasks may seem simple, the devil is in the details. A myriad of choices and decisions must be made to best match the requirements to the eventual network design. This includes the type of end-user device or customer premise equipment (CPE), indoor vs outdoor coverage, type of backhaul, and whether the core network functions need to be on-premises or centralized (and possibly on the cloud). Additionally, beyond just supporting data, the SI determines whether other communications applications such as push to talk (PTT) or VoLTE need to be supported and if critical SLAs exist that need to be monitored and actively assured. And finally, the SI answers questions of how the new network will integrate, interoperate and connect with legacy IT systems, or how WAN/ Wi-Fi will complement the new private network.

Once network design, technology selection, and equipment/software procurement are complete, the SI utilizes their expertise to install the network components, configure the network, test, validate and turn it up. This is done from end to end across the RAN, core and where relevant, the SAS. The SI also provides, as needed, software and integration support for workflow, orchestration, inventory, SIM management, automation, and QoS/ policy management.

After the end-to-end private network is turned up, the SI provides the critical support and infrastructure to monitor the systems from end to end. The different types of monitoring are based on the types of use cases and level of support needed, including level 1 through level 3 monitoring solutions, depending on the criticality of the use cases.

This is essential, as there must be continuous monitoring for certain types of use cases, as well as automated triaging where faster identification and turnaround time for resolution is needed – such as in the event of an alarm, fault or where availability of service is affected.


System Integrator – A reliable partner

Overall, the SI provides the expertise and services needed to lead the enterprise through this entire process – helping them to not only embrace the private network journey but also accelerate their digital transformation footprint and reduce their total cost of ownership. The SI also drives the process of upgrading existing configurations, as well as integrating newer technologies into the ecosystem to enhance end-user experiences.

Ultimately, the SI is the partner enterprises can rely upon to evaluate all available options, integrate complex systems and technology and provide a seamless end-user experience to the enterprise along their journey and align them with their needs.

For enterprises, engaging the right systems integrator is key to realizing a successful private wireless network. While do-it-yourself remains an option, the unique converged “wireless + network + IT + cloud” skillset required for the new era of wireless technology, means partnering with a proven and experienced SI is the best way to minimize risk and ensure success.

Amdocs is an experienced system integrator with advanced software capabilities, deep network expertise, and a robust ecosystem of vendors to address the unique communications and connected applications requirements of utilities, manufacturers, healthcare organizations, and other enterprise verticals across the entire spectrum.


AT&T works directly with customers on current and future use cases

AT&T delivers a holistic private cellular network strategy, providing solutions using licensed and shared spectrum at the customer premises. AT&T’s private cellular strategy in tandem with 5G is built for businesses to deliver enterprise-grade mobility services whether inside or outside of the business’s virtual four walls. AT&T offers multiple private cellular solutions to enable their private cellular suite of services utilizing LTE and 5G models, including CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) LTE spectrum-based networks to a wide range of enterprises, including manufacturing, public safety, refineries, warehouses, and transportation. 

Strategic Alliances

AT&T has multiple partners for its CBRS LTE private cellular offering to include Ericsson and Nokia. They have also partnered with system integrators (e.g., Accenture for Phillips 66 private network deployment) and cloud service providers to include Microsoft, Google, IBM, Accenture. Additionally, in partnership with Samsung, AT&T has launched the 5G Innovation Zone at Samsung Austin Semiconductor to demonstrate 5G’s impact on the Smart Factory, including use cases for Robotics, Industrial IoT, and Mixed Reality. AT&T’s direct work MxD has shown the market how new technologies can be applied. AT&T also teamed with Purdue College of Engineering to create one of the first 5G research and development testbeds in the U.S.



AT&T Solutions


Private Cellular Networks

AT&T Private Cellular Networks provides a self-contained network that combines operational control of LAN with the security and performance of cellular networks. It includes dedicated on-site small cells, private SIMs, & a network management portal to control traffic, devices & access KPIs.

Private Cellular Networks – Portable

AT&T Private Cellular Networks – Events provides a temporary dedicated network delivering 5G speeds using mmWave spectrum for localized high bandwidth needs.

Multi-access Edge Computing

AT&T MEC is a managed on-premises cellular solution that combines operation control of LAN with the benefits of the AT&T macro network, delivering enhanced privacy, control, lower latency, and more predictable performance utilizing existing licensed spectrum and existing SIMs.  


Sample Ongoing Deployments


Department of Defense (DoD)

DoD announced $600 Million for 5G Experimentation & Testing at five U.S. military test sites. Projects include piloting 5G-enabled augmented/virtual reality for mission planning and training, testing 5G-enabled Smart Warehouses, and evaluating 5G technologies to enhance distributed command and control.

  • For the AR/VR-based training project at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington site, AT&T is developing a system to use 5G connectivity with present training devices jointly with GBL System Corp. Oceus Networks, and Booz-Allen Hamilton.
  • For the Smart Warehousing project at Naval Base San Diego (NBSD), California, AT&T is deploying within a short span of 9 months, a network based on commercially available equipment to support 4G and 5G utilizing cellular spectrum in both the sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave bands.
  • For the Distributed Command and Control project at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, AT&T will initially provide a fixed then mobile 5G environment. This will provide high capacity & low latency to support the connectivity requirements associated with the mobile combined air operations centers. The 5G network will be used to disaggregate and mobilize the existing C2 architectures in an agile combat employment scenario.


Phillips 66

AT&T and Accenture are partnering with Phillips 66 to deploy a private cellular network at one of the refinery plants based in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. The objective of the private network is to address the coverage gaps from the existing public cellular network and lay the foundation for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and 5G-based low latency applications.

The cellular network consists of cell sites and core network servers to provide reliable connectivity to the Phillips 66 refinery. AT&T provides the necessary engineering for the private cellular network. AT&T’s multi-access edge compute solution will also provide Phillips 66 with the control, performance, and security, in addition to the flexibility to expand to their other locations in the future.


Whirlpool Plant

AT&T is deploying a private 5G network at one of Whirlpool’s factories in Ohio. Currently, the driverless vehicles inside the factory depend on WiFi connectivity to navigate. Though the factory has full WiFi coverage, only half of it is used due to its construction. There is metal everywhere, conveyor belts are running on ceilings, and existing old equipment creates its own radio-frequency voice. All this results in WiFi interference, degrading the signal for the driverless vehicles – creating traffic jams, slowing down the factory production, and having a cascading impact on the delivery timeline. To fix the WiFi interference issue, the factory will need to be remodeled.

Hence, Whirlpool is moving from WiFi connectivity to 5G connectivity for the driverless vehicle to move them reliably from one end of the factory to another.


Manufacturing times Digital (MxD)

AT&T is deploying a private 5G network for MxD, a non-profit research institute that brings hundreds of partners together in partnership with the department of defense to advance the future of the U.S. manufacturing industry. 

MxD private network uses two radios — one with mmWave 5G and one with sub-6 5G that connects to AT&T’s central network core. The control plane is offsite, and the user plane is managed by multi-access edge cloud computing (MEC) servers at the MxD facility. The solution uses a licensed cellular spectrum (currently using sub6 spectrum on LTE and combined where applicable with 5G mmWave spectrum or sub6 spectrum) to deliver low latency, high-bandwidth solution, providing more control and flexibility at the edge.

AT&T will demonstrate how manufacturers can use video intelligence to monitor conveyor belt speed and production accuracy, monitor older equipment temperatures and maintenance and monitor inventory levels and location.

When choosing a private 5G network, how do you decide if it is the right choice for your network?

There are several factors to consider when deciding on the most appropriate connectivity strategy for an enterprise. The connectivity needs to be heterogenous, so covering employee mobility and enterprise applications for mobile workers and device connectivity for production. Plus, it also needs vendor and supply chain connectivity. What’s more, the priority for the organization should be based on the business case, and of course, one that delivers a return on investment that makes commercial sense of the new connectivity strategy.

Other factors include the availability of private network connectivity services from MNOs/MVNOs, the availability of free-to-use spectrum like CBRS or delicensed spectrum. Create a collaborative partner ecosystem to leverage diverse expertise, including a primary systems integrator that can help the enterprise evaluate different opportunities and build solutions that can be reliably deployed and can operator on private networks.



What statistics show an increase in the use of private 5G networks or that it is gaining popularity?

According to IDC, the worldwide private LTE/5G infrastructure revenue will reach will $6B in 2024 with 43% CAGR growth for the period 2019 – 2024. There are two key drivers for private 5G licenses: firstly, 5G private networks could offer more autonomy and security. Secondly, some industrial companies are unsure whether telecom operators have the ability to meet their demands and are concerned about delays. 1/3rd of Industrial companies are considering applying for 5G licenses. And nearly half of US industrial companies intend to apply for local 5G licenses, much more than the global average.



Why are private networks becoming possible, and could they emerge as a major trend?

There are many reasons why private networks are growing in importance, especially for certain verticals. Private networks are more reliable and deliver a robust quality of service that meets stringent SLAs. They can be tailored to scenarios like Critical Control Systems in energy production, distribution, or manufacturing and use cases like robotic control.

Security is another key factor why private 5G networks have gained popularity, this can be especially applicable to enterprises, campuses, and of course, the defense sector. Solutions such as geofencing can provide major benefits within private 5G networks. 

What makes private 5G networks an attractive option is the ability to use an unlicensed spectrum which evades the license fee overheads you can incur with 4G/5G. While 4G and 5G deliver reliability, thanks to new Wi-Fi technology, connectivity can be secure, reliable, and cost-effective. According to GSA, 185 private networks are already ongoing worldwide. 20% of enterprises believe they need private networks, and 80% of these enterprises have expressed willingness to pay for it.

According to IDC, the worldwide private LTE/5G infrastructure revenue will reach will $6B in 2024 with 43% CAGR growth for the period 2019 – 2024. Evolution of technology in making Private Network-specific NEP (Network Equipment Providers) products that are designed for Enterprise Operations in terms of form factor, ODM friendly supply chains, ease of install and commissioning, zero-touch provisioning, low complexity but high performance within constraints of form factor (using efficient h/w acceleration and software virtualization, etc.)

Private networks are sometimes the only choice in use cases like mining or in remote locations where the telecoms business case for providing widespread coverage is not feasible. Use cases like Remote Smart farming etc. The future of private 5G networks certainly looks promising for several industries globally as governments are promoting the industrial usage of 5G across spectrums by deregulating them.



What will private networks do, and what are their use cases?

There are several use cases. Here is our vision of the major ones:

Monitoring & Control: Connectivity of machines, people, and systems allow manufacturers to have better visibility and control over the status of their production systems, enabling managers to make better-informed decisions and reduce lead times and resource allocation.

Tracking and control: Connecting all sites to evaluate the relative performance of similar processes, implementing a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to have full traceability and visibility on the status of each production batch to anticipate problems and update schedule, connecting different parts of the supply chain to evaluate global performance and anticipate bottlenecks, providing location-based services to track products and assets, etc.

Predictive Performance & Condition Based Maintenance: Digital simulations of production processes, labs, factories, or entire networks allow companies to steer processes proactively. Predictive analytics technologies will enable us to understand better how input parameters such as machine settings, operator training levels, or raw material options will affect quality and productivity. 

Predictive performance: Use of advanced stochastic simulation techniques to model the behavior of the factory and predict performance in changing environments, including new products being introduced, change in product mix, increase or decrease in volumes being applied across new factories, etc. There could also be the use of analytics to understand the performance of individual processes depending on the process parameters and then be able to predict the result (good or bad batch) of the production.

Condition Based Maintenance: Analyze the behavior of individual components in machines and predict when they should be replaced to avoid degraded quality or machine shutdown

Digital Assistance: The shop floor has become increasingly digital, powered by new systems that support operators’ daily tasks.

Augmented Reality: Tools such as Augmented Reality (AR) shows operators the checklist of steps needed to finish specific processes or confirm that required measures have been completed, along with gathering and reporting data to fuel analytical models or guide technicians during the QC process in the lab through the use of augmented spatial reality.

Virtual Reality: Use of Virtual Reality (VR) in immersive environments to facilitate and speed up training for processes in which it is impossible, difficult, or inconvenient to work with the original equipment for example, if you want to train people before the equipment arrives at the site or if they are in a sterile area and do not want people to change clothes for training, or if we do not want to stop production for training. Combination of VR/AR and connectivity to facilitate remote expert support to people operating and maintaining the equipment, applications, and wearables to inform the shift leaders of any significant issue in their area of responsibility.

Worker safety: Ensuring worker’s safety through wearables measuring fatigue, heart rate, breathing, motion, or sensors detecting exposure to smoke or toxic gas and alerting them.

Process Automation: Automating processes in manufacturing, assembly, logistic and transactional activities reduce variability, increase throughput, and reduce operating expenses and inventory. The combination of classical automation with collaborative robots, intelligent vehicles, and robotic process automation delivers excellent results.

This can be the use of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV), or Automated Intelligent Vehicles (AIV) connected to the MES (Manufacturing Execution System) or EBR (Electronic Batch Record) to handle material in the plant, specifically customized automation of manual processes (usually handling).  


Which are the top sectors?

According to GSA, manufacturing is an early adopter of local area private mobile networks, with 51 identified companies holding suitable licenses or involved in known pilots or deployments.

Mining, academic organizations, and ports are also actively trialing local area private mobile networks. Utilities, police, security, public safety, and rail are the biggest users of wide-area private mobile networks. Companies in the communications/IT sector are also key investors in private mobile networks.

Looking in more depth at the manufacturing sector, the automotive subsector is an early leader in terms of private network investment and adoption. Automotive companies account for a third of the 51 identified companies holding suitable licenses or involved in known pilots or deployments.



What are the challenges of 5G networks?

5G networks are facing major challenges.5G industry standards for ultra-low latency are both complex and delayed. 3GPP is expected to address this in Release 17 which is due out in the second half of 2021.

There are some concerns around delays in low-cost devices with 5G native connectivity. Bulk deployment of 5G devices can be an expensive affair due to the limited availability of such devices or because of cost implications. For instance, smart glasses or smart sensors on AGVs or 5G CPE devices and industrial devices may not be readily available in the market with volumes that drive device cost points down. Thus, devices may turn out to be expensive for mass deployment.

As the cost of these features can be high thereby Industrial networks may not migrate from deployed based on Industrial Ethernet and OPC UA etc. for time-sensitive network (TSN) Use Cases of Connectivity.

There are two concerns: 5G-based TSN has only been tested in trials and not in a large-scale factory.

The second concern is about the upgrade of the existing infrastructure in case it doesn’t comply with the requirements of a private 5G network. This could require an investment in new infrastructure and/or replacement of existing infrastructure.

In some parts of the world, there are concerns around 5G Radio-related health and power usage i.e. perceived as not being green. However, 5G has the advanced capabilities of automated network resource management to deliver energy savings to both operators and the enterprise.



Will private 5G hardware work in licensed frequencies, unlicensed, or both?

Yes. There are now innovative private network solution kits from the likes of Ericsson (Industry Connect), Nokia (NDAC), etc. They are created as cloud-native platforms which address specialized radio base station requirements for private network configurations. The radio base station with suitable L1 and L2 innovations can be designed to operate in a range of bands that can be both licensed and unlicensed. Such platforms can combine both data offload and compute at the edge as well as include plug and play functions like Network Core + Software Management. Such platforms deliver flexibility and operational ease. Vendors adopting these solutions will benefit greatly from the enterprise and vertical markets.  


How hard will it be to get access to licensed spectrum for private networks?

Licensed spectrum-based Private Networks are services that are launched by MVNOs/MNOs, and the government procedure for having access to unlicensed spectrum for geo-specific radio frequencies is being simplified and is relatively affordable. In the US, the band access to radio frequencies which are designed to be free was also auctioned off, giving priority access (PAL) to CBRS. Several enterprises and telcos have applied for this PAL for CBRS. Thanks to this, private networks in the US could proliferate.

With the arrival of 5G, regulators in many countries and territories are considering or are already allocating more spectrum to enable private network deployment, with the aim of enabling and encouraging digital industry development. Shared spectrum solutions enable the use of the same spectrum range in a single geographic area by more than one organization.  


Will private networks be designed and supported in-house? Or will they require specialization from outside companies?

The strategy for private networks is driven by the business rationale and is usually owned by the enterprise CTO, CIO or CNO, etc. As the deployment of a private network requires a specialist, the business would engage a vendor. So, there are a number of opportunities for business consultancy and system integration services. Telecom operators are also offering private networks as a service, and they too engage system integration specialists for geographic or vertical expertise. Thus the operator provides the spectrum and outsources the managed services. Large network equipment providers (NEPs) design and build solutions for 4G/5G private networks and carry out the initial installation. There are already a few enterprise trails underway. To scale a private network, typically the operator would leverage the NEPs infrastructure to meet the needs of the enterprise along with the systems integration specialists.  


Will private 5G network capabilities be consistent across regulatory domains?

The connectivity service is delivered over a private network depending on the spectrum band. The mid-band 5G is seen as offering the best mix of broadband access and latency to meet SLAs. Low bands deliver longer geographic coverage and mmWave is low range but can provide high capacity. They can also provide uplink and downlink for low latency and high bandwidth coverage in specific locations.

The nature and type of Private Network Connectivity services will be based on which bands are being deregulated by the country’s regulatory authorities.



How will things for private 5G networks pan out in the next 12-18 months?

Over the past year, there have been several industrial trials of private networks taking place in Europe. We will soon see the business case proof points and the growth in investments to industrialize private network connectivity. So, private networks could expand in the coming months and years.

Some of the trials across verticals such as oil & gas, energy, aerospace manufacturing, etc. slowed down in 2020 and they are likely to pick up in 2021.

Chipset vendors are entering the market this year with a strong SOC portfolio and this is enabling the device ecosystem to be more accessible to vendors and partners who want to enter the private 5G network market. This in turn will help lower the cost for 5G devices and kits, such as like Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 X60 and other companies in this field. Several new NEPs will enter the equipment and solutions market for private networks with software-defined solutions that are off-the-shelf. As such, this space is about to get ultra-competitive.

The CBRS PAL auctions were wrapped up in Q4, 2020. We can therefore expect an uptick in private network trials within the US industrial market. MVNO, MSO, and some large manufacturing industrial enterprises will deploy such networks and create new business cases for private networks. Private networks from hyperscalers are gaining momentum and have already been deployed on some campuses and enterprises.



What challenges are faced in private 5G network implementation?

The market needs products that solve private network connectivity requirements flexibly with a solution that can adapt to the enterprise, without having to be re-engineered completely. This can be achieved with software-based platforms that can plug and play on Layer 1, depending on the 5G band and the type of device connected to the use case. Such solutions can address the business challenge and deliver flexibility for global enterprises which may require product customization.

Each enterprise may face its own unique set of challenges. The technology required could change significantly between different businesses and use cases. The variables can include an enterprise’s location, like the extent of coverage and radio requirements for different sites, the data security considerations may also vary by country and region according to regulations. Then there are the edge compute requirements such as making the decision to deploy all the equipment on-site vs using a shared RAN with common core etc. which can have security and access challenges.

Lowering costs for enterprise 5G networks is a challenge. And there are steps to address this: have a tools-enabled, reliable, and scalable process for private network site design. Have ready-made blueprints and solution templates for certain categories/classes of locations.

Ensure that the network has flexibility in configuration to adapt to site/region needs etc. These can help businesses maximize their investments and significantly reduce delays. A system integration partner with expertise in this area can help smooth the deployment process.

For some enterprises, justifying the business need to have a private 5G network can be challenging. Establishing the use cases, ROI, and business rationale for the investments is an uphill task. To overcome this challenge, the enterprise needs data and performance process optimization to prioritize what services this connectivity can benefit. Having a strategic roadmap of use cases can justify the ROI.

All these aspects can be an entry barrier to CAPEX and OPEX allocation for decision-makers. Having the right consultative systems integration partner can support the enterprises with its life cycle analysis.

Throughout the country, organizations are actively deploying OnGo networks for a variety of use cases, including enterprise private LTE networks in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band. Industries such as education, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, retail, and more are using OnGo networks to address industry trends and challenges — e.g. Industry 4.0 in the industrial sector and distance-learning in education.

However, it’s important to recognize that as innovation within this new sector of the wireless market continues to grow, organizations must keep in mind certain factors to ensure the successful deployment, maintenance, and continuous improvements of a high-performing wireless network for business-critical use cases. From requirements and planning to design and installation strategies — let’s take a look at the necessary steps for deploying an OnGo-enabled private LTE network in the CBRS band.



Step 1: Gathering Requirements

The first step in any successful deployment requires a detailed understanding of the organization’s needs as well as the problems and challenges that it wishes to solve with an OnGo private LTE network. Organizations should begin by identifying the most critical use cases.

For instance, a smart building might flag internal communication among staff members or “dead zones” in elevators and hallways. Next, a designated networking team — or an OnGo service provider — can design a system to meet its specific needs.

For example, in commercial buildings, facilities might require several smart devices to monitor the building, specifically various support systems within the building that control its features (e.g. security, HVAC, and lighting).


Step 2: Survey & Planning

An organization should then estimate traffic needs within its network and determine the level of bandwidth required to support operations.

OnGo is ideally suited for when organizations either have: a lot of devices to control, operations that demand consistent performance, mission-critical reliance on mobility, multiple access points that are difficult to place, or a complex radio environment.

For smart buildings, staff members require access to data while working throughout the building. Which devices is the customer looking to support? What are their bandwidth requirements? Do they need to be mobile within the venue or static? How many devices are expected? Will coverage be needed outside the venue, e.g., in the parking lot?


Step 3: Design

Designing a private LTE network is where an organization’s requirement gathering, survey, and planning begins to come to life. This is where an organization must determine — or inquire for an integrated solution providers’ help to determine — where CBSDs are going, how they need to be configured, and the core network configuration.

At this stage, organizations should also select their vendors, or solution providers, of choice. A comprehensive list of vendors from all different parts of the OnGo ecosystem can be found in the OnGo Alliance directory. Continuing with our example of a smart building network deployment, most of the smart devices will be inside the building, with a few around the exterior perimeter of the building.


Step 4: Installation

The installation stage is exactly what you’d think — implementing the design created based on the findings from steps 1 and 2. At this point, the organization and its selected vendor(s) put the new private LTE network to the test, installing and configuring both CBSDs and the network core.

In a smart building, this would include installing any necessary hardware and ensuring consistent connectivity throughout the building to help support functions such as security cameras, communication devices, smart thermometers, lighting sensors, and more.


Step 5: Operation

Once installed, an organization can begin measuring the progress and value of its newly deployed private LTE network through key performance indicators (KPIs) such as uptime, dropped calls, energy usage, etc. To enhance KPI monitoring, organizations can also set up alarms and alerts to automatically notify management of any problems as well as set up automated actions to take place if an issue should occur.

For instance, in a smart building, an installed sensor can detect and measure energy usage in real-time to help increase energy efficiency and savings. If energy usage rises above a set threshold, the building management system can send an alert to management, so they can act accordingly. Most importantly, since the organization itself has control of its own network and spectrum, it can troubleshoot and make adjustments to the network as needed.



Looking forward

The COVID-19 pandemic encouraged many organizations to reevaluate their current operations and in turn, spurred the adoption of innovative technologies. As many organizations across industries continue to adopt these new technologies, connectivity will play a critical role in enhancing these digital transformations in a cost-effective manner.

While OnGo is definitely an opportunity for organizations to deploy their own high-performing, secure private network with reduced complexity and costs today. We are also looking forward to 5G private networks. The OnGo Alliance has already completed specifications that support OnGo configurations for 5G NR. This means that we will be seeing OnGo 5G networks in the near future on the widely available CBRS band.

What is a private network?

A private network is a dedicated network for an enterprise designed exclusively to meet its specific business needs. The enterprise has full control of the dedicated network. It enables them to restrict network access to authorized people and devices as well as process the enterprise data locally via the edge cloud, ensuring enterprise security and data privacy.

As enterprises initiate their digital transformation journey, they need to connect many devices and applications and process the data generated by them in real-time or near real-time. Sample devices and applications that enterprises need to connect on their private network include automated guided vehicles, sensors, drones, augmented reality/virtual reality devices, or wearables, in addition to the traditional devices such as smartphones and desktops. Also, read “Holistic private network solutions.

These connected devices and applications on the private enterprise network demand guaranteed quality of service, i.e., reliable connectivity, low latency, high mobility, high-density support, data privacy, and security. The traditional connectivity options such as wired ethernet and WiFi have limitations in meeting the enterprise connectivity requirements. Ethernet connectivity though cheap has mobility constraints and requires enterprises to invest in factory remodeling. WiFi limits the number of connections on the access point, in addition to interference and unpredictable latency.

Hence, the need for wireless technology such as LTE/4G or 5G for enterprise private network connectivity.



What is a private 5G network?

Private 5G network is a dedicated private network that uses 5G technology across the enterprise site for communication. The 5G wireless technology provides enterprises with ultra-high reliability (99.999%), low latency (less than ten milliseconds), ability to connect more than one million devices per square kilometer, full mobility, security with 5G SIM and support service-specific SLAs with network slicing.

In comparison to 5G, 4G/LTE technology has limitations as it supports only one gigabyte per second, hundred-thousand connections per square kilometer, and lacks ultra-high reliability. Hence, depending on the enterprise use case need, either 5G or 4G/LTE technology may be the right private network option.

Also, read “Unraveling the dynamics of private 5G networks” for additional info.


Private 5G Benefits for the Enterprises

  • Better network coverage & capacity – Enterprises get dedicated capacity & guaranteed coverage by deploying their own private networks. 
  • Deterministic performance – The spectrum is dedicated to the private networks’ geographical area, thereby guaranteeing service quality and ultra-reliable performance.
  • Security & data privacy – There is a full separation of private networks from wider public networks. Enterprise data stays within the enterprise premises. Only authorized devices & people can connect to the private network. 5G SIM & mutual authentication further add to the increased security. Also, read “Securing 5G+ Edge Application
  • Low latency with edge computing – Private 5G networks with cloud & edge computing enable enterprise applications requiring ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) by processing the data where it is generated.
  • High density & scalability – The dedicated private 5G network ensures the connection of up to a million devices per square kilometer within the enterprise premises over a single network.
  • Flexibility – The 5G wireless connectivity enables enterprises to place/move their factory devices & equipment as needed without the planning & construction cost related to the cabled networks.
  • Full Control – The enterprises have full control of their private network and hence can quickly & efficiently respond to any changes needed to address their business needs.

Broadly, the benefits of private networks for enterprises can be classified as below:

Better network coverage & capacity

Enterprises get dedicated capacity & guaranteed coverage by deploying their own private networks. Though there is very good momentum in the rollout of 5G networks globally, it is still not widespread enough to provide the required coverage and capacity for supporting the vertical industry use cases.

Deterministic performance

The spectrum is dedicated to the private networks’ geographical area, thereby guaranteeing service quality and ultra-reliable performance. Industry verticals are also leveraging the unlicensed spectrum for their enabling their use cases. The unlicensed spectrum enables enterprises to deploy a private 5G network without having to work with an operator. Also, read “The simple path to an OnGo Private LTE Network in the CBRS Band” 

Security & data privacy

There is a full separation of private networks from wider public networks. Enterprise data stays within the enterprise premises. Only authorized devices & people can connect to the private network. 5G SIM & mutual authentication further add to the increased security. Enterprises have the option to define their security policies aligned with their business needs. Sample key aspects that must be secured include – IoT Devices, 5G/LTE Network, Systems, and Software. Also, read “Securing 5G+ Edge Application.

Low latency with edge computing

Private 5G networks with cloud & edge computing enable enterprise applications requiring ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) by processing the data where it is generated. 

High density & scalability

The dedicated private 5G network ensures the connection of up to a million devices per square kilometer within the enterprise premises over a single network. See more details on 5G technology benefits in comparison with 4G/LTE here.


The 5G wireless connectivity enables enterprises to place/move their factory devices & equipment as needed without the planning & construction cost related to the cabled networks. A good example is Rush University working with AT&T to bring the latest mobile communications technology to clinical care, based on 5G to improve communications, data processing needs, and the patient experience.

Full Control

 The enterprises have full control of their private network and hence can quickly & efficiently respond to any changes needed to address their business needs.

We analyzed seventy-five in-deployment | in-trial private 5G global enterprise use cases and enterprises that won spectrum across countries where 5G is currently live. Based on our analysis, Manufacturing, Transportation, Energy, and Utilities are the top private 5G industry verticals. Below are insights from the related research and analysis.  


5G for Smart Manufacturing

Based on analysis of global private 5G enterprise use cases and spectrum (mid-band & high-band) winners.

Top Private 5G Vertical - Manufacturing | TeckNexus
Top Private 5G Vertical – Manufacturing | TeckNexus based on the global use case and spectrum analysis

Sample industry verticals, leveraging private 5G for manufacturing include:

  • Transportation | automotive sector related manufacturing such as the production of electric batteries and all-electric vehicle assembly
  • Industrial appliances manufacturing, e.g., air compressors, vacuum solutions, generators, pumps, and power tools
  • Specialty chemical manufacturing, e.g., polyolefins, fertilizers, and melamine
  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • 5G radio equipment manufacturing
  • High-tech polymer manufacturing

To get information on the current state of 5G in manufacturing, related global and regional insights, use cases, and ecosystem players subscribe to our premium 5G for manufacturing report.  


5G for Smart Transportation

Based on analysis of global private 5G enterprise use cases.

Top private 5g verticals - Smart Transportation - TeckNexus
Top private 5g verticals – Smart Transportation based on use case analysis

Within the smart transportation vertical, the private 5G use cases can be further sub-classified into airport and seaport verticals.

  • For Airports, the key business drivers for leveraging private 5G include – maximum security, best possible customer experience, and guaranteed high level of reliability for airport processes.
  • For Seaports, the key business drivers include cybersecurity of ports, guaranteed service quality AR/VR-based reliable remote operations control, and greater efficiency for port and shipping operations (e.g., streaming of images, radar, and sonar data to increase towing efficiency to increase the number of ships entering and leaving the premises each day).

Subscribe to our 5G for transportation report to get information on the current state of 5G for smart transportation, related global and regional insights, use cases, ecosystem players, key business drivers, adoption challenges, and more.  


5G for Smart Energy & Utilities

Based on analysis of global spectrum (mid-band & high-band) winners.

Top private 5g verticals - Smart Energy & Utilities - TeckNexus
Top private 5g verticals – Smart Energy & Utilities – TeckNexus based on spectrum winner analysis

Key business drivers for leveraging private 5G for energy and utility verticals:

  • Secured connectivity for indoor and outdoor communications
  • Better coverage enabling monitoring and control of mission-critical applications
  • Increasing efficiency of energy plant operations and asset performance
  • Real-time drone monitoring system for dams, remote water level monitoring system, and situation sharing system
  • Remote monitoring enables worker safety and cost-efficient plants AR/VR headsets to support remote operations and safety applications

Subscribe to our 5G for energy & utility report to get information on the current state of 5G for energy & utility, related global and regional insights, use cases, ecosystem players, key business drivers, adoption challenges, and more.


Network Equipment Vendor’s Private Network Strategies  

  • Sell network equipment and solutions directly to enterprises. e.g., Nokia positions its Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) & Modular Private Wireless (MPW) directly with enterprises such as Lufthansa.
  • Sell network equipment packaged with own and partners solutions via mobile network operators, e.g., Ericsson’s industry connect program for private networks and partnerships with mobile network operators such as AT&T.
  • Sell network solutions via partnerships with cloud & edge vendors, e.g., Athonet partnership with Amazon for BubbleCloud, 5G-Ready LTE networks.
  • Sell network solutions via partnerships with system integrators,e.g., Mavenir partnership with Mugler, a system integrator to provide turn-key private network solutions to enterprises in Germany.
  • Address network coverage issues in urban and remote areas via creating a private network coverage bubble,e.g., parallel wireless, bring your coverage solution to provide reliable coverage for emergency safety services.



Mobile Network Operator’s Private Network Strategies 

  • Sell spectrum and managed services directly to the enterprises for private networks, e.g., Telefonica, Vodafone.
  • Sell only managed services to enterprises. e.g., Vodafone and Lufthansa Technik deployment, where Lufthansa uses its own 5G spectrum and Vodafone supports the 5G network during activation and operation.
  • Sell spectrum and services in partnership with network equipment vendors, e.g., Verizon’s partnership with Nokia to offer Nokia’s Digital Automation Cloud (NDAC), consisting of core and radio antennas along with Verizon’s WAN and LAN managed services. AT&T’s partnership with Ericsson to offer Ericsson’s Industry connect solution as a part of its CBRS LTE Private cellular offering.
  • Sell edge compute capabilities for private networks in partnership with cloud and edge vendors, e.g., Verizon partnership with AWS, IBM, Microsoft Azure.
  • Sell in-house build open RAN-based platform to enterprises for private networks, directly, or in conjunction with partners, e.g., Rakuten is positioning its Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) in partnership with Ligado Networks in the US.



Cloud & Edge Vendor’s Private Network Strategies

  • Extending edge compute capabilities to store and process enterprise data on-site. e.g., Amazon, Microsoft Azure
  • Offering connectivity services packaged with edge compute capabilities in partnerships with network vendors and CBRS operators, e.g., AWS partnership with Federated Wireless and Athonet.
  • Selling end-to-end private network solutions based on acquired network solution portfolio and partnerships with ecosystem players, e.g., Microsoft’s Affirmed networks deploying end-to-end 5G solution, in partnership with HPE Communication and Media Solutions.



Large Enterprises Private Network Strategies

  • Do-It-Yourself (DIY) – Use your own spectrum and manage your own private network infrastructure.
  • Use own spectrum with network equipment & services from equipment vendors, i.e., without mobile network operators, e.g., Lufthansa Technik deployment of a private network in its aircraft hanger with Nokia.
  • Use spectrum from mobile operators and network infrastructure from network equipment vendors,e.g., Siemens deployment of private networks at its campus microgrid at headquarters in Vienna, in partnership with A1 and Nokia.
  • Use licensed and unlicensed spectrum from CBRS operators or neutral hosts, e.g., Airspan set up the private LTE network using CBRS spectrum for Foxconn smart factory.



CBRS Operator’s Private Network Strategies

  • Deploy private networks with CBRS spectrum in partnership with one or more ecosystem players, e.g., Airspan partnered with Siticom to deliver a private 5G network to a research institute in Germany’s southern Bavaria region.
  • Offer CBRS based solutions as a subscription service directly or via partner channels.
  • Offer CBRS based solutions in partnership with edge & cloud vendors, with one-click deployment, e.g., Federated Wireless partnership with AWS to deploy connectivity-as-a-service, an end-to-end managed service for enterprises.



Specialized Operators & Neutral Host’s Private Network Strategies

  • Sell spectrum, solutions & services in partnership with ecosystem players, e.g.,
  • Ligado Networks and Rakuten partnered to offer private 5G networks based on the Rakuten Communications Platform and Ligado’s expertise and licensed L-Band spectrum in the US.
  • Anterix to deploy 900 MHz private LTE system for San Diego Gas and Electric utility provider in the US
Read the complete article in the 5G Magazine

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