Widespread rollout of 5G is now not very far from reality. Device manufacturers have already started rolling out 5G network equipment while network carrier companies are on the verge of commercializing 5G networks. While there are several roadblocks still impeding the public launch of the 5G network, there are also endless applications and potential associated with it. 5G is not just about increased network speeds and bandwidths. 5G holds the potential to revolutionize various critical areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), entertainment, automation, IT, and more. And among various emerging trends and use cases for 5G networks, private 5G networks offer several advantages and can boost the power of Industrial IoT (IIoT).
What are private 5G networks?
A private 5G network, as the name suggests, is a local area network that will use 5G technology to build and create a network. The network thus created is expected to carry along all the features of 5G network including reduced latency and higher speeds. Private 5G networks are sometimes referred to as a local 5G network and offer unified connectivity with various advantages and optimized services.
Having a private network delivers several advantages in terms of efficiency and security. Private LTE networks that run on 4G network technologies are already commercial and in wide use. Therefore, companies, organizations, regulators, and other potential users are now looking ahead to the private 5G networks to get the most out of this upcoming trend.
The driving force
Telecom giants have been preparing for the era of 5G and have been developing infrastructure and network gear needed for a widescale deployment of 5G networks. And as mentioned earlier, there are various advantages a 5G network can offer. Many companies are interested in building their own private 5G networks for various advantages.
Businesses, especially those involved in manufacturing and other industries, are looking forward to using private 5G networks to get high-level granular views on their sales and operations. The high level of bandwidths offered by a 5G network is ideal for various use cases and advantages for industries and is, therefore, a driving factor for the IIoT. Various other applications concerning IIoT involve solutions designed for protection and human safety, sensor control, and security.
Roadblocks to adoption
As with every technology, there are several barriers associated with the adoption of private 5G networks. Foremost of all is the need for a spectrum that supports it. Implementing the technology itself has various challenges such as MIMO technology, deployment and coverage, frequency bands, and costs. And for the companies to build their own private network involves further technical barriers.
5G is fundamentally different technology compared with existing network technologies such as LTE or WiFi. Therefore, implementing private 5G networks will itself be a challenge for almost all companies as they don’t have any experience with 5G networks. Moreover, building these networks involves huge costs. Arranging the funds to manage and handle a fully functional private network built on this new technology adds significantly to the costs.
Benefits of private 5G networks
Not all organizations work wirelessly. Most companies still rely on wired connections such as Ethernet for networking, efficiency, speeds, and reliability purposes. A private 5G network, on the other hand, has the potential to replace these bulky and difficult-to-manage wired networks. 5G networks offer several advantages and features that can be hugely beneficial. Thanks to its high speeds, low latency, and application support, it comes with all the essential qualities to replace the traditional wired network connections.
A private 5G network can be provisioned in-house in the organization, which gives better control over the network. These networks can also largely reduce the dependency of companies on network providers. Provisioning the network in-house can provide several other benefits in terms of security, monitoring, planning, resource management, and utilization reports.
Among all the benefits and advantages of using a private 5G network, security is of pivotal importance. It is going to be more secure than all of the current wireless networks as the network operator will have all the rights to configure and secure the network the way they want. All security policies can be custom designed and can be fully controlled within the organization without having to rely on outside service providers.
Private 5G networks: Still a ways off
While 5G itself is in its infancy, it would be safe to say that private 5G networks still have a long way to make it to the public. Early adopters will probably be large organizations with the ability to make huge capital investments. Moreover, the rate of growth and adoption of private networks is largely dependent on how quickly 5G is rolled out to the public.