One of the industry’s keenest observers of emerging market trends looks at the key trends impacting on Private Network deployments in 2023.
This is an extract of an article by Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis, published in Issue 34 of TMN Quarterly, in February 2023. To read the full article, the rest of the issue, and to receive future issues and access to our full archive, subscribe here >>>
PRIVATE NETWORKS IN 2023
Private or dedicated cellular networks are not new. Niche deployments for rail, energy, maritime and public safety use have existed since the 2G / 3G era, over 20 years ago. Local spectrum licenses for enterprises to deploy private networks have also had over 15 years
Yet 2022 marked an important turning point for the concept to become mainstream. New networks – 100s, perhaps over 1000 – were deployed, increasingly for “production”usage rather than just trials and proofs-of-concept. New verticals gained prominence, such as logistics, construction and defence. The transition of the market from private 4G to 5G accelerated rapidly, with the mainstream viability of 5G standalone cores and availability of more suitable devices.
Importantly, both the traditional telecoms industry and regulators recognised that many enterprises would not be happy with public cellular networks, even if “sliced” and with some delegated “virtually private” network control. While MNOs still hope to see B2B applications of 5G drive revenue growth, many have recognised that dedicated networks need separate teams, new operational models (such as solutions-led approaches) – and perhaps different vendors and infrastructure design. For instance, Verizon Business announced a turnkey solution developed with Celona in 2022, while NTT now has a global P5G-aaS proposition and associated ecosystem.
Meanwhile, a continued stream of regulatory agencies have caught up with the trend, issuing spectrum directly to enterprises and positioning sharing models as a core part of 5G and future 6G policies.
Even India and China showed early signs of moving away from the MNO-only
model for 5G. There is still huge variation between countries in terms of frequency choices, processes and rules, but the trajectory is now looking inexorable.
SO WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FOR PRIVATE NETWORKS IN 2023?
The rest of the article contains Bubley’s summaries of these key trends:
- VERTICALS & USE-CASES:
- SHIFTING VALUE CHAIN
- CLOUD & VIRTUALISATION
- NEUTRAL HOST
- INTEGRATION WITH OTHER NETWORKS
- DECENTRALISATION & CROWDSOURCING