Communication Services

The Private 5G Network To Boost Enterprises

<p style="text-align: justify;">On June 15th, 2022, India said, it would reserve part of its next-generation telecom&rsquo;s spectrum for private in-house networks, as the government announced a 5G auction to take place by the end of July.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">All three firms (Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio) are expected to participate in the new auction, but under the proposal approved on June 15th, tech companies will also be able to bid for the bandwidth of networks for their private use. This proposal has caused a split in the industry.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Viewpoint of Enterprises Regarding Private 5G Networks</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The private 5G networks mirror public 5G. But the connectivity is limited to a dedicated space such as a factory, a port, or a campus, where 5G's security and ultra-low latency can be fully utilized for additional services.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The two influential industrial bodies: COAI, which represents telecoms firms, and Broadband India Forum (BFI), which represents tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook has split.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">COAI has argued that private 5G &nbsp;networks will "diminish the revenue so much that there will be no viable business case left for the telecom service providers.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">But BFI has labeled the idea of revenue loss a "misconception" and said more business activity would lead to companies spending more on external communications.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Most enterprises today are still at the early stages of understanding the potential benefits of private cellular networking and edge computing, in delivering enhanced business outcomes, but the interest is evident.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Within private cellular networks , for example, we have seen significant traction and uptake globally during 2020 and 2021, partially driven by increased availability and routes to spectrum due to localized spectrum licensing models across different markets.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">This has resulted in several trials and engagements with large companies such as Bosch, Ford, Rio Tinto, Heathrow Airport, and more.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Telecom operators see private 5G &nbsp;cellular and edge computing as part of a larger revenue opportunity beyond fixed and public cellular.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">It is an opportunity for telcos to move from being seen as horizontal players providing increasingly commoditized connectivity services to more vertical players that address value-adding industry-specific use cases.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Private 5G Networks</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Private cellular and edge computing can be seen as components of a wider innovative and holistic end-to-end solution for enterprises and part of the telcos' ambition to become strategic partners or trusted advisors to the customers.</p><p>Private cellular networking is expected to play a vital role in the future of wireless technology for enterprise on-premises connectivity. We define a private cellular network as a dedicated, on-premises network designed to cover a geographically constrained area or a site such as a production plant, warehouse, or a mine.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">It uses a dedicated spectrum, which can be owned by the enterprise or leased from a telco operator or third party. It has dedicated operating functions that can run on the enterprise's dedicated or shared edge computing infrastructure.&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Private 5G networks and Edge computing leading transformations in Enterprises</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Private cellular networks can be configured according to the requirements of each enterprise, to meet the specific needs around reliability, throughput, latency, etc., to enable vertical-specific use cases in a combined way that other alternatives have previously struggled with.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Although there were early instances of private networks going back to 2G by GSM-R in the railway sector, now we focus on private cellular networks that leverage 5G mobile technology.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Edge computing brings the computing, storage, and processing capabilities and power of the cloud closer to the end-user or end-device (i.e., the source of data) by locating workloads on distributed physical infrastructure.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">It combines the key benefits of local computing, such as low latency, data localization, and reduced backhaul costs, with the benefits of cloud computing, namely scalability, flexibility, and cloud-native operating models.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The prominent enterprise networking vendors have honed their private network solutions to play to their existing strengths in the enterprise market. Cisco and HPE announced private 5G solutions and both emphasize the combination of private 5G and Wi-Fi networks.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">They see private 5G as an extension of enterprise networking and as an add-on to Wi-Fi. They are well-placed to do this, given their installed customer base.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Public cloud providers promoted their computing capabilities as the foundation for private 5G and are positioning private 5G networks &nbsp;as an extension of cloud services. They have plenty of other strengths in providing the infrastructure and platform capabilities to support the applications on top of the network. However, providing the computing foundation was central to their message.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Operators are preparing to deliver the next stage of their private 5G strategies and are considering using a hybrid model. Operators can potentially provide the network components for private 5G networks.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Ericsson is developing an interesting narrative through its Cradlepoint acquisition and Nokia's MXIE stands out for its delivery of mission-critical applications. Operators have an opportunity to differentiate using hybrid architecture models.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">However, these groups of players must offer complete solutions that are easier, cheaper and faster to deploy, than previous iterations before fully developing their differentiators. Only by doing this will any of them be able to expand the market and gain scale.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="AWS's entry into the private 5G market" width="565" height="371" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Figure Above - AWS's entry into the private 5G market in late 2021 has motivated other vendors to move more quickly to provide simpler, packaged solutions with pre-configured assets (both their own and partners'). MWC emphasized the high levels of activity by vendors to partner and bring to market full solutions that are easy to deploy &amp; scale.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">1. Nokia is expanding its indirect channel partnerships with systems integrators and IT players such as Kyndryl and Tech Mahindra.</p><p>2. Ericsson acquired Quortus, a packet core technology vendor, in late 2021. This acquisition received little attention. Quortus's EPC and technology platform is tailored to the requirements of the enterprise, rather than public networks.</p><p>3. Huawei emphasized how its success in the Chinese market can help it in Europe. In China, it works with operators that deliver hybrid private networks based on public and private network assets.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Challenger vendors are focused on delivering complete solutions. They are forging partnerships to ensure that their assets form part of larger vendor&rsquo;s packaged offers but are also looking at new channels to market.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">E.g., Celona has already been working with HPE and NTT to take its solution to market as part of a packaged offer, and it has also announced a partnership with Verizon. Verizon's new offer with Celona will target mid-market and will provide a pre-packaged cloud-based solution.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Challenger vendors are embedding their solutions as part of a larger vendor's or operator's offer.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Figure above: 5G core functions are not well suited for deployment on edge computing platforms, according to a poll that ran during the recent DSP Leaders World Forum 2022 event.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">According to the poll as seen in the above figure, 5G is particularly attractive for low-latency applications, such as industrial control, automation, and high-bandwidth applications, such as video, virtual reality, or massive data transfer.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Role of 5G Private Networking in Various Enterprises&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">There are a variety of potential use cases.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">A retailer might deploy a 5G network for point-of-sale and inventory.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">A logistics company might eye it for asset tracking, autonomous vehicle controls, security cameras, and monitoring equipment.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In healthcare, a company could set up a parallel network to work with their existing Wi-Fi deployment for high-priority and highly mobile devices.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Figure Above: 5G beats Public Wifi for gaming and speed.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">For a long time, users have assumed that Wifi offers a superior experience to cellular connectivity when using the Internet on mobile devices, either at home or in public places.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Improvements to the mobile technology with the evolution of 5G network means that this is no longer the case. In particular, the rollout of the mid-band 5G spectrum, such as the C-band, is helping to boost the overall U.S. 5G experience and is making cellular much more competitive with Wifi.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Opensignal's latest analysis demonstrates that, smartphone users now have superior average download speed using 5G, than on Wifi connections in the U.S. Plus, the Gaming experience is also excellent using 5G than with the Public Wifi commonly available in stores, hotels, or cafes.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">With a score of 74.5 on a 100-point scale, smartphone users connecting with 5G network had a better gaming experience, than the score 72 of those using Public Wifi. However, those using mmWave 5G had a higher score of 81.8, exceeding even the score of 76.3 seen by those users connecting via Wifi at non-public locations such as the home or office &mdash; both of these scores rated as Good (75-85).</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Opensignal's Games Experience quantifies the real-time multiplayer gaming experience of popular genres of smartphone games such as battle royale (examples include PUBG or Fortnite), massive online battle arena titles like Arena of Valor, or sports titles.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">This approach is built on several years of research quantifying the relationship between technical network parameters such as latency, jitter, and packet loss and the perceived experience of real mobile users.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">There is a transformation in how 5G and Wifi speeds are compared from the situation when we last looked at how U.S. Wifi and cellular rates match up a year ago. Then as now, mmWave 5G is way faster than Wifi.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Now for the first time, our users enjoy average download speeds with 5G that are indisputably faster than all types of Wifi networks &mdash; Public Wifi or Other Wifi. To put it another way, the overall 5G experience has improved faster than the Wifi experience, and now average 5G download speeds of 112.9 Mbps are faster than both Public Wifi (23.3 Mbps) and Other Wifi locations (89.6 Mbps).</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">South Korea Telecom (SKT) Enterprise</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Enterprise is one of five "business groups" that SKT has recently prioritized to "maximize corporate value" (drive revenues). Specific SKT Enterprise Group plans include:</p><p style="text-align: justify;">1. To build data centre capacity with integrated Multi-access Edge Computing at new sites.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">2. To leverage 5G MEC, AI technology, and hyper-scale collaboration to grow the cloud business.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">3. To extend services in select verticals &ndash; Smart Factory, Finance and Security &ndash; combining its own AI technology &amp; its digital infrastructure (5G, Cloud, and IoT).</p><p style="text-align: justify;">4. Its commercial 5G offerings on the market broadly reflect these priorities.</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">SKT 5G Cloud Products</span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">SKT continues to promote "5GX Cloud" as the lead 5G solution area on its website. Its suite of solutions includes 5GX Public Edge (leveraging hyper-scale partnerships) and 5GX On-Site Edge (a private MEC environment for companies that require extra secure real-time data processing or cost-efficient high-capacity data transfers). 5G and MEC are the foundations for these propositions.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Recently, SKT has teamed up with Dell Technologies to launch an enterprise 5G MEC solution called "Petasus." It combines SKT's 5G MEC solution and Dell PowerEdge servers.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The solution provides network virtualisation features designed specifically for MEC, as well as associated operational tools. SKT promotes MEC as an essential technology for application areas such as smart factories &amp; autonomous driving (due to its ability to enable ultra-low latency communication).</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">SKT 5G Vertical Services</span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">SKT has been building a portfolio of offerings under the 5GX Smart Factory banner, and has added the following solutions:</p><p style="text-align: justify;">1. <strong>TV live caster</strong>: A 5G-enabled HD video control solution capturing feeds from smartphones, drones, and cameras. It can be used for safety management, remote tech support and live broadcasting from public and industrial sites.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">2. <strong>Die-Casting Manager</strong>: A service for die-casting facilities where thermal monitoring equipment is used to monitor operations for early problem detection and optimisation of production conditions.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">3. <strong>Welding Quality Inspection Manager</strong>: A solution leveraging Acoustic Emission (AE) sensors, Machine Vision cameras and AI to determine not only external welding defects but also internal problems with industry-leading accuracy. This enables enterprise customers to reduce costs, increase work efficiency and maintain high production quality.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">4. <strong>Machine Vision Solutions</strong>: Quality inspection solutions using 5G, AI and MEC tech to detect defects in the appearance of a product using AI-trained models and take appropriate action on the production line based on the results.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Conclusion</span></h2><p>Private 5G networks could be a game changer for some enterprises, particularly in the industrial, automotive, and energy sectors. A private 5G network can guarantee throughput and latency levels that next generation use cases require, according to research firm Gartner.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>If an organization had a large facility and the need to support people and maybe machines roaming about it, with multiple types of traffic that included in-company calls and texts, private 5G might be a good idea.</p><p>The technology will become a more tangible option for enterprises because of the opening of mid-range spectrum and an uptick in provider interest. Opening spectrum for private use has certainly been one of the drivers for enterprise customers to consider using 5G in their networks.</p><p>Ultimately, customers will have to evaluate how they want 5G delivered, via a truly private play or a semi-private variation of a managed service or a fully managed service from an operator.&nbsp;</p><p>For now, it seems like the AWS offering is the closest thing to a true private 5G service. I think there's better integration with public cloud components of applications with the AWS version.</p><p>No matter where or how enterprise private 5G rolls out, there will be challenges.&nbsp;</p><p>It's more costly than Wi-Fi 6. The devices you use will require support for the frequencies available, which may be difficult. You must either run your own 5G cells or get them as-a-service from a cloud provider.&nbsp;</p><p>You can't assume that a device that works on public cellular network is going to work on the private network. Private 5G also presents a steep learning curve because of new tools such as slicing and the difficulty in selecting an architecture that fits the vertical and is economical.&nbsp;</p><p>Understanding the economics fully&mdash;not only the cost of hardware and software but also the total cost of deployment, operation, ownership overall&mdash;is currently a challenge.</p><p><strong>Youtube Link</strong> : <a href=""></a></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="">Kaneshwaran Govindasamy</a></em></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Kaneshwaran Govindasamy&nbsp;</span></h3><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. Can you build a private 5G network?</span></h2><p>Yes, you can build a private 5G network. Private 5G is part of your network, while the carriers' versions of 5G rely on their own core services. Then there are hybrid topologies that combine both private and public 5G for flexibility -- and complexity.</p><p>Once you have defined the why for private 5G, the how becomes important. Most environments will need outside help to get it right. As with any network design -- and especially for wireless networks -- different network sites could have vastly different requirements. While private networks may boil down to simple line diagrams.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. What does 5G mean to consumers?</span></h2><p>5G for consumers means not just faster mobile internet, but mainly internet connectivity in many more objects than what you see today. The car and the house are two examples of the big IoT revolution coming ahead, supported by 5G networks.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. How many private 5G networks are there?</span></h2><p>There were a total of 1,400 private LTE/5G networks deployed across the world at the end of 2021, including trial and pilot deployments.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What are the benefits of 5G network slicing?</span></h2><p>As 5G has lower latency connections with high bandwidth capability, it's faster to initiate a connection and send more information to the user &ndash; something that was traditionally only available through fixed fibre connectivity.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">5. What are the components in end-to-end network slicing in 5G?&nbsp;</span></h2><p>The layers include the service instance layer, the network slice instance layer and the resource layer.</p><p>Multiple roles related to network slicing are specified in 3GPP TS 28.530 and GSMA NG.116 . According to GSMA NG.116, there are the following five roles;</p><p>1. Communication Service Customer (CSC): Uses communication services, e.g. end<br />user, tenant, vertical.</p><p>2. Communication Service Provider (CSP): Provides communication services. Designs, builds and operates its communication services. The CSP provided communication service can be built with or without network slice.</p><p>3. Network Operator (NOP): Provides network services. Designs, builds and operates its networks to offer such services.</p><p>4. Network Slice Customer (NSC): The CSP or CSC who uses Network Slice as a<br />Service.</p><p>5. Network Slice Provider (NSP): The CSP or NOP who provides Network Slice as a<br />Service.</p><p>Network slicing is a concept for running multiple logical customized networks on a shared common infrastructure complying with agreed SLAs for different vertical industry customers (or tenants) and requested functionalities. To achieve this goal, network slicing needs to be designed from an E2E perspective, spanning over different technical domains (e.g. device, access network, core network, transport network and network management system).&nbsp;</p><p>The creation of simplicity out of this complex environment requires applying the principles of abstraction and separation of concerns into the architecture design. The result is an architecture structured into different stratums, with segregated scope and different technology pace in each, namely infrastructure stratum, network and application function stratum, and O&amp;M stratum.</p><p>Figure below captures the logical structure of these stratums into the Network Slicing Architecture.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" width="526" height="310" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Kaneshwaran Govindasamy

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