With the availability of the new spectrum and increasing popularity of mobile private networks (MPNs), specific enterprises are taking a closer look at dedicated mobile networks. Matt Hatton, the founding partner of Transforma Insights, delves deep into the fast-evolving world of mobile private networks and private wireless.카지노사이트
Mobile private networks (MPNs) – also known as private wireless – have been attracting a lot of attention in the technology world in recent years. The availability of new spectrum, most notably the CBRS spectrum in the US, as well as technological developments in 4G and 5G, has triggered interest in rolling out dedicated mobile networks for specific enterprises in limited geographical areas. This contrasts with the usual approach with cellular of national public networks run by mobile network operators.
With the new MPNs, the networks will be deployed, owned and operated by the individual enterprise, or done so on their behalf. A new report, Mobile private network (MPN) state of the union by Transforma Insights, examines the current status of MPN deployments to understand the capabilities of these technologies, where it is being deployed and a prognosis for future success.
What Are the Benefits of a Mobile Private Network?
Companies have deployed private networks for decades, mainly in the form of Wi-Fi, but also for industrial deployments, for instance, using various networking technologies. However, both 4G and 5G cellular technologies offer significant advantages over other technologies. They are highly reliable, provide better coverage, are more flexible to deploy, have better security, support moving devices more effectively, and integrate better with wide-area connectivity outside the prime location. All of this makes them superior to the main alternative, Wi-Fi 6.
In the case of 5G, there are additional capabilities, most relevantly the Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) functionality, which will allow for the support of real-time control systems, autonomous vehicles and augmented reality, amongst other things. While the application ecosystem to use such functionality is still relatively immature today, there is certainly great potential.
4G/LTE and Asset-intensive Industries Dominate
The fact that few mature applications demand 5G functionality today is one of the reasons why 80% of MPN deployments are limited to 4G/LTE. The technology is more mature and significantly cheaper. Most implementations today are focused on asset-intensive sectors, specifically mining/oil & gas, manufacturing, ports, and utilities. Mining/oil & gas has a particularly strong showing, given its relative share of the global economy (1.2%), accounting for around 20% of all deployments. It has been an early and strong adopter of MPN. Typically, sites are highly remote, and there is no shortage of spectrum with which to address them. These are also typically very large sites with complex requirements and often non-existent mobile network coverage otherwise.
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22,000 installations expected by 2030
The Global Mobile Suppliers Association reported in June 2022 that 794 organizations had deployed private 4G or 5G networks. By the end of 2022, Transforma Insights predicts that there will be between 1,000 and 1,500 MPNs deployed worldwide, a figure which is predicted to grow to somewhere between 10,000 and 40,000 by 2030, depending on which scenario plays out, with a predicted middle scenario of 22,000.
The Cost of Network Deployment Will Put Some Off
One of the biggest limiting factors in deploying MPNs will be the cost. While some deployments will come in at less than USD100,000, typically, the overall cost will be in excess of USD500,000, making it up to ten times as expensive as deploying alternative technologies, including Wi-Fi 6. For 5G, the cost will be significantly higher. The upshot of this higher cost is that it will only be those enterprises that need the functionality delivered by 4G and 5G that will opt for those technologies.
Furthermore, those costs relate solely to the infrastructure. The cost of devices will also be significantly higher, between five and fifty times the cost depending on the deployment types.바카라사이트
One fascinating evolution in pricing came with the launch of AWS’s Private 5G offering. It is aimed at relatively small-scale deployments, incorporating network infrastructure, core network and SIM cards. Illustrative pricing assumes around 100 devices, charged at around USD7,000 per month, i.e., USD70/device/month. It’s a different approach aimed at smaller-scale deployments than we generally envisage. The large-scale 4G and 5G networks can support thousands of devices. Even at 1,000 devices, the annual cost would be close to USD1 million.
Network Slicing and Other Alternatives
Another very closely associated topic, which has also been getting a lot of attention in the mobile world, is the concept of network slicing. Rather than deploying a dedicated network infrastructure, an enterprise’s connected devices can be supported on a ‘pseudo-private’ network that uses the public network infrastructure but with dedicated capacity and logically separated connectivity.
These network slices can deliver superior bandwidth, reliability, latency, security and power management, amongst other things. However, Transforma Insights is of the view that network slicing will be used predominantly by the network operators as a mechanism for offering specific classes of service usable by multiple customers rather than a dedicated capability for a specific company.
Furthermore, the truth is that mobile network operators might have the technological capabilities to deliver network slices – or will do soon, with most expecting to be able to deliver them in 2024 – but they don’t have all the software and commercial components, e.g., the operational support systems (OSS) or the operations and maintenance. Similarly, topics like roaming and support for devices outside network coverage have not been resolved.
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There is a range of hybrid options, from simply installing more public network infrastructure to having private infrastructure supported by public core networks. Again, these tend to either lack the key benefit of an MPN, i.e., that it is a separate network over which the enterprise has sole control, or the network operators upon which these systems rely do not really have the operational processes in place to sell and support them.
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