With 5G infrastructure now being widely rolled out across the UK, many organisations are now leveraging the power of 5G in replacing traditional local area networks. In this article, we discuss the major advantages for the commercial use of 5G for private 5G networks, including increased bandwidth, network security and the ease and speed of fully wireless deployments.
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What is a Private 5G Network?
Private 5G networks are local area networks (LAN) that leverage 5G technology to create a fully private, dedicated network within a specified area e.g. an office/organisation. For many organisations, private 5G networks can be built upon existing private LTE networks that have already been deployed, many of which already utilise 5G-ready equipment.
What are the advantages of Local 5G?
Like a traditional local area network, private 5G customers are effectively given their own private, dedicated piece of the network. This is managed completely independently and is straightforward to deploy. The advantages of 5G over other technologies include:
Wireless setup: a major advantage to private 5G networks is that deployments are virtually wireless. This eliminates the need for network cables, making installation and maintenance much easier, and much more cost-effective.
Network slicing: one of the main benefits of using a private 5G network is that it can be sliced into different virtual networks. This allows prioritisation for different uses/users e.g. mission-critical processes where a constant high-speed connection is required.
Bandwidth & Latency: 5G’s greater bandwidth allows the simultaneous transfer of huge amounts of data and has much lower latency than other wireless technologies. This makes private 5G networks the perfect solution for IoT / M2M operations that require constant, real time communication.
Security: as the network is private, unlike other connectivity solutions data is stored locally and never leaves the network. Security policies are also defined by the network owner, giving organisations complete control of data flow. This greatly reduces the risk of cyberattacks, making private 5G networks the perfect solution for organisations that hold sensitive information e.g. healthcare, finance, government, and emergency services.
Use cases of Private 5G Networks
Private 5G networks are perfect for Industry 4.0, enabling interconnectivity between systems and devices, to automate and streamline business operations 24/7. This may include security systems (e.g. security cameras and sensors), robotics, energy, fleet management, logistics and POS.
Sectors that may benefit most include logistics, pharma production, agriculture and telehealth. For healthcare providers, in particular, 5G enables communication, real time patient monitoring and better management of resources with advanced remote care.
Another good example is autonomous farming machinery, which could analyse data in real time and dispense fertilisers and pesticides only when required. This can cut costs and reduce the environmental impact by better managing resources. You can learn more about our IoT solutions here.
Private 5G licencing
A question that our clients often ask is around licencing restrictions for the use of 5G in setting up private networks. The good news is that Ofcom has committed to working with businesses to leverage 5G for innovation and enabling new services. This can be done by working with Ofcom directly through its local licensing scheme, or by using airwaves that are already licenced to mobile operators, but aren’t currently being used.
For further information on 5G licencing for local/private 5G networks, please see Ofcom’s guidance here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/features-and-news/airwaves-opened-up-to-support-wireless-revolution
If you are interested in discussing setting up a private LTE & 5G network for your organisation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today on 0330 1244 805, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us here.