While Mobile 2G and 3G were standards designed to enable and enhance mobile users’ broadband, its inherent technical limitations, and the absence of a consolidated enterprise ecosystem somehow limited private wireless networks’ (PWNs) adoption by enterprises.
High latency, low throughput, and a somehow restricted flexibility to scale prevented enterprises from using mobile communications networks as an integral connectivity component for their operational machinery.
During the last 10 years, with the deployment of 4G networks around the world, enterprises for the first time found a viable connectivity solution for their demanding requirements – the enterprise segment understood how powerful it would be introducing high-performance connectivity as a complement for their information technologies (IT) and operations technology (OT) infrastructures.
Fast forward and the entire world is talking about 5G
5G has been designed since inception to respond to stringent requirements from the enterprise segment. Cloud-native, low latency and high throughput are some of the attributes that have refreshed enterprise’s interest in private wireless networks. The exponentially growing amount of data generated by enterprises and end-users can be wirelessly and flexibly collected at the edge of the network and transformed into intelligent business insights thanks to 5G connectivity.
What are private wireless networks?
Private wireless networks are dedicated local on-premises networks designed to cover a specific location, site or premises (e.g., port, factory, warehouse, mine, shopping mall, industrial or educational campus) using a pre-allocated spectrum.
PWNs can have dedicated radio, core, and management functions that can either run on the enterprise’s dedicated infrastructure or be leased from a mobile network operator (MNO) or third party.
Private wireless and edge cloud – better together
Private 5G and edge cloud are considered the main catalysts for the 4th industrial revolution. The private wireless radio loop will connect sensors, machines and processes at speed – the edge cloud will transform these data into actionable intelligence.
Although it is possible to deploy private wireless networks independently or even without edge cloud, enterprises have exponential benefits combining private wireless with the ability to compute at the edge. The shorter loop from the sensor to the computing elements where data is transformed into insight enables a plethora of innovative use cases that are impossible to deliver with a public centralized cloud architecture, given the inherent higher latency associated with this topology.
Private wireless spectrum
Spectrum is a scarce resource and requires meticulous criteria for allocation, and telecom regulators have recognized enterprises’ needs to access spectrum resources directly.
The introduction of 5G enables the use of additional frequency bands, both licensed and unlicensed. Spectrum assignment procedures are evolving towards less deterministic methodologies, allowing dynamic allocations on a per use needs base. In the future, we will see spectrum being centrally managed and dynamically allocated following a set of predefined hierarchy access rules – this will enable a better spectrum utilization factor and open the way for enterprises to build and manage their networks.
The private wireless dilemma
According to Analysis Mason, more than three-fourths of all enterprises intend to deploy private wireless networks before 2024. Enterprises feel the pressure and understand the need to embrace technology to compete and survive. But deploying, operating and maintaining PWNs are tasks that most of the enterprises are not immediately ready to handle. They also want to find operational synergies with their existing IT operational model and be able to determine the end-to-end cost benefit relationship. Being able to respond to these questions will require enterprises to break organizational silos, streamline operational processes and elaborate a consistent partnership strategy.
Who do you partner with?
Ultimately PWNs adoption will be driven by the need for enterprises to improve processes, productivity and quality to compete in a new era of data-driven business decisions. Thanks to edge computing and private wireless networks, a potent human augmentation infrastructure is forming at the edge of the network allowing a plethora of new possibilities.
At Dell Technologies we strive to be the partner of choice for CSPs and enterprises to accelerate business transformation.
Our open disaggregated telecom solutions portfolio enables the formation of a rich partnership ecosystem with de facto industry leaders and zero lockdowns. Our innovative offer schemes are tailored for business visibility and reduced complexity.
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