What are the advantages of private 5G networks?

10 Oct 2019

Image: © Thomas Reimer/Stock.adobe.com

Non-public 5G networks will be a critical building block of your enterprise network strategy, writes Forrester’s Dan Bieler.

The concept of non-public networks is nothing new, yet the rise of the internet of things (IoT) and connected assets is driving more and more companies to investigate the opportunities that private 5G networks could offer them.

Non-public 5G networks promise better privacy, data security, compliance and cellular network performance. They also offer safer and more private features for dedicated user groups.

Benefits of private 5G networks

Non-public 5G networks turn businesses into mobile operators in limited geographic areas. A business that operates a private 5G network will become a 5G network infrastructure operator – if the organisation wants to have complete control over its operating processes.

These networks also offer protection against industrial espionage. Data in non-public 5G networks is segregated and processed separately from public 5G networks. This ensures complete privacy protection of process and production-related data.

In essence, now is the time to explore non-public networks on private LTE infrastructure. Businesses will increasingly deploy non-public 5G networks as part of IoT deployments, and they should build on the lessons they learned with private 4G LTE networks.

The great public-private debate goes on

In the long term, private 5G networks might take the same route the cloud debate took.

When cloud computing first appeared, many businesses insisted on private cloud environments in their own data centres. In time, these businesses became comfortable enough with the concept to have vendors such as AWS, Azure or Alibaba run their cloud environments.

A similar evolution might occur with non-public 5G networks. Businesses may wonder whether they really need to run their own 5G network infrastructure and warm to the idea of working with equipment vendors, specialty providers or telcos to operate these 5G environments.

By Dan Bieler

Dan Bieler is a principal analyst at Forrester serving CIOs and digital strategy leaders by guiding them through the challenges of digital transformation. He is an expert in the key technologies underpinning digital platforms, such as the internet of things, mobile technologies and social collaboration technologies. His report, Non-Public 5G Networks Will Be a Critical Building Block of Your Enterprise, investigates the benefits of private 5G networks.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Forrester blog.