Industrial Private Mobile Networks Boom: 5G Not Required

While waiting for 5G devices to become more widely available, there are a large number of companies running private networks based on
Technologies such as TETRA, P25, Digital Mobile Radio, GSM-R and Wi-Fi.

Private mobile networks – in which companies adopt their LTE technology for their 5G infrastructure – are advancing rapidly but are still hampered by a lack of compatible devices. By 2030, industrial companies around the world will have more than 49 million 5G connections within their facilities, recently Research From ABI Research Find Out. As a result, LTE and Wi-Fi remain dominant as wireless protocols in industry settings.

Global Mobile Manufacturers Association (GSA) Identifies Mobile Private Network as “a 3GPP-based 4G LTE or 5G network intended for the exclusive use of private entities, such as enterprises, industries, and governments.” Currently, there are 794 organizations known to deploy LTE or 5G mobile networks, according to GSA estimates, with the dominant sector manufacturing at 140 deployments – up from 111 at the end of 2021. Manufacturing is closely followed by the education and mining sectors.

According to an ABI report, a shortage of 5G industrial devices is reducing manufacturers’ interest in private 5G wireless — with a ripple effect across the market. “In contrast, a lack of enthusiasm discouraged hardware suppliers from creating the necessary hardware,” notes ABI analysts. To hedge their bets, these vendors are releasing converged devices that support all communication protocols – Wi-Fi, LTE, and 5G. Accordingly, the GSA found that organizations currently prefer LTE over 5G, with the former accounting for 76% of deployments.

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See also: Manufacturing Ahead of the Curve Across AI, 5G, and Edge

According to the authors of the GSA report, “The arrival of LTE-Advanced systems has led to a step-change in network capacity, throughput, and deterministic latency.” “From now on, 5G networks will bring increased user and device density, greater capacity, and more latency improvements that enable the use of mobile technology for time-critical applications.”

GSA analysts expect that building 5G capabilities in private mobile networks will pave the way for advanced applications that use technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics.

There are also still a large number of companies operating private networks based on technologies such as TETRA, P25, Digital Mobile Radio, GSM-R and Wi-Fi, GSA analysts say. “Many of these customers are demanding critical broadband services that are simply not available from alternative technologies, so LTE and 5G-based private mobile networks could eventually replace a significant portion of this market.”

Additionally, to maximize the benefits to their operations, “companies will need to invest in additional technologies, such as advanced networking, data management, and data analytics, to accelerate data collection and create a digital thread,” says Michael Larner of ABI.

The authors of the GSA report stated that the demand for private mobile networks based on LTE and 5G technologies is “driven by the escalating data, security, digitalization, and enterprise mobility requirements of modern businesses and government entities.” “Organizations of all types combine connected systems, big data, and analytics to transform operations, increase automation and efficiency, or deliver new services. Wireless networks with LTE or 5G enable these transformations to happen even in the most dynamic, remote, or highly secure environments while delivering the scale benefits of technology that has already been built. Already spread it all over the world.”

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