Realizing the Potential of 5G Private Networks

Article By : Dylan McGrath, Keysight Technologies

Achieving the promised productivity, efficiency, and safety benefits of 5G private networks requires extensive test and validation.

There is growing excitement over the rise of 5G private networks, and with good reason. With 5G’s promise of abundant speed, ultra-high reliability, and superior bandwidth, it’s no wonder that organizations across many industries are looking at 5G private networks to boost productivity, efficiency, security, and safety across their operations.

Enhancements to the 5G standards introduced in 3GPP Release 16 and Release 17 – including upgraded ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLCC) and support for integrating 5G with IEEE’s time-sensitive networking (TSN) standards – really broaden the appeal of 5G private networks for smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 applications. With the performance of 5G, manufacturing operations can implement wireless networks that connect robotic equipment, monitoring sensors, and the entire production line.

But the allure of 5G private networks goes far beyond the manufacturing sector. According to a recent survey report conducted by TECHnalysis Research LLC, a host of industries – from technology, to finance, to healthcare, and transportation and logistics, and beyond – recognize the potential impact of 5G private networks.

Source: TECHnalysis LLC

Deloitte predicts that hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide will deploy cellular private networks over the next decade. And the firm estimates that value of cellular mobile equipment and services for use in these networks will grow from a few hundred million dollars in 2020 to be worth tens of billions of dollars per year by 2024. ABI Research forecasts even more dramatic growth, with the overall market for private networks within enterprise verticals reaching $109 billion by 2030 (including radio access network, edge, and core deployments, as well as professional services revenues).

But successful creation, implementation, and operation of a 5G private network will be a challenge for many organizations, most of which will be stepping outside their comfort zone. While many firms have experience operating wired networks or wireless networks based on technologies such as Wi-Fi, most generally lack expertise with cellular technologies. Those companies in particular will need to rely on partnerships with system integrators, managed service providers, and solutions vendors.

Source: TECHnalysis LLC

The TECHnalysis report, based on a telephone survey of 400 U.S.-based organizations, found that 68% of respondents plan to use a multi-vendor private network building by a system integrator or tech vendor. The same survey found that 78% of respondents listed limited internal skills sets as their top concern when it comes to developing a 5G private network.

Every 5G private network – especially those implemented for industrial manufacturing – must depend on a guaranteed quality of experience meeting requirements for URLLC, TSN, and time synchronization from edge-to-core, the cloud, and across devices operating on the network. Designing and implementing an industrial 5G private network requires comprehensive planning and testing, including not only the network elements but also the user equipment (UE), which as opposed to a conventional 5G network often takes the form of new types of UEs like robotics and sensors.

Navigating this terrain can be treacherous. Choosing a test vendor with the solutions, experience, resources, and knowledge can make all the difference.

Keysight, a pioneer in 5G technology, offers a comprehensive portfolio of test and validation solutions to facilitate private network infrastructure creation, implementation, and operation across all stages of the network lifecycle. Our recently launched Private Network Solutions page provides a detailed overview of the portfolio, as well as additional resources such as webinars and white papers designed to inform and educate not only on the benefits of 5G private networks, but also on the challenges to successful implementation and solutions for overcoming them.

Source: TECHnalysis LLC

 

Dylan McGrath is the 5G Industry Solutions Marketer at Keysight Technologies. He is a veteran electronics trade publication journalist and former editor-in-chief of EE Times.

 

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