A 5G-scored surge in productivity across the globe
The popularity of private networks is booming across the world, according to trade body the GSM Association (GSMA) which reports there are now 794 of them orchestrating industry over LTE or 5G technologies in 68 countries across the globe.Manufacturing is far and and away the most popular sector. The ‘acting 5G’ cum fourth generation bridge builder LTE (long term evolution) is still the technology of choice in most factories, but pure 5G is being used by ‘around’ 37% of the customers tracked in its study, said GSMA. The association has also identified at least 71 telecom network operators involved with private mobile network projects.
Disenchantment with public services means there’s many operators and companies going private. The Manufacturing sector is the largest adopter with 140 identified companies involved in known pilots or deployments, up from 111 at the end of 2021. The Education sector is next, with 80 networks, followed by Mining companies (69) and Power/utility companies (68). There are 71 ‘discrete’ manufacturing networks, compared with 42 networks used for process manufacturing. The use cases of the other 27 have yet to be announced. Car makers like Porsche and BMW are the biggest users of private networks, followed by manufacturers of electrical equipment, appliances and components and then makers of computers and electronic and optical products.
A new trend is that hyperscale cloud service providers are offering private mobile networks, sometimes in partnership with mobile operators or network suppliers. The partnership of Telenor and AWS is a prime example. Everyone in the industry is at it, according to Joe Barrett, president of the Global mobile Suppliers Association. “Organisations of all types, whether they are in the manufacturing, education or automotive sector are investing and deploying networks that will drive automation and productivity,” said Barrett, “We are tracking over 50 equipment vendors that have been involved in the supply of equipment for Private Mobile Networks based on LTE or 5G.”
With the ecosystem in place and regulators planning to make spectrum available for LTE and 5G private usage, expect significant market developments over the next couple of years, Barrett said.