According to Deloitte Insights, by the end of 2024, investments in private 5G will reach tens of billions of dollars. Private 5G promises greater flexibility than wired networks and superior performance compared to previous wireless standards like 4G network.
- Compared to public 5G, the private option offers greater control, flexibility, reliability, speed, security, and capacity. It facilitates exclusive use and is easily customizable.
Private 5G affords a business a degree of control that is not possible with a public network. Data can be stored locally and company officials determine users who connect to the network. Storing data onsite will also reduce latency and increase efficiency.
- With private 5G, a business will determine coverage quality and the deployment timetable. Onsite personnel will install and maintain the network enabling faster response to problems.
Greater Reliability & Speed
Private 5G networks offer ultra-high speeds and reliability. They deliver on the promise of ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC). With URLLC, it will connect actuators, sensors, switches, and controllers, at reliability levels similar to those of a wired connection.
- With connectivity speeds of hundreds of megabits per second, private 5G offers reliability that was previously only available through fibre.
- It has a reliability rate of 99.9999%, translating to downtime of fewer than 5 minutes per year.
- Private 5G offers greater reliability for mission-sensitive applications. That is because it can be selectively partitioned to provide greater service quality to particular network segments. This can reduce the downtime for critical applications.
Greater Capacity & Capability
4G networks cannot connect more than 100,000 devices per square kilometre. However, private 5G networks can support up to one million devices. Therefore, a business can connect every device and sensor.
- Greater capacity is a growing industrial need. BASF’s main plant in Germany currently connects 600,000 sensors and other devices. They plan to connect up to 6,000,000 devices and private 5G will help in that endeavour.
- Private 5G is vital for remote locations where there are no public networks or where indoor coverage is weak. It functions in environments with metal obstructions making it suitable for industrial applications. If a 5G signal path is blocked by a metal object such as a conveyor belt or crane, an alternative path is used. Multiple transmitters used in private 5G create redundant paths to the receiver.
Higher Security in Network
A private 5G network has security and privacy advantages over a public one. A company owns its network and it chooses where it stores its data. For better security, data should be stored on-site.
- Private 5G has improved upon the security protocols of 4G technology and it addresses existing security threats. A business can further enhance the security level by including technologies such as zero trust architecture and robust encryption schemes. Because a company completely controls a private 5G network, it is possible to introduce additional security measures.
With private 5G, a business enjoys exclusive use of the available capacity. Thus, there will be no contention from other users as is the case with a public network. A company will be able to authorize users, prioritize traffic, and deploy its own security protocols. Exclusive use will ensure that sensitive data doesn’t leave the company without authorization.
A private 5G network can be customized to a site’s needs; configurations can vary by location, depending on the kind of work being carried out in each location.
A business can opt for 5G because it is cheaper and more convenient than having additional physical cables. RUSH Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois is deploying private 5G in some older buildings because the architecture of the buildings cannot allow for additional cables.
In 2020, only ten per cent of the world’s machines had a wireless connection. Most of today’s production lines are cabled and fixed. That makes it expensive and time-consuming to reconfigure production lines which affect outputs. Cables also weaken over time and replacing and maintaining them is costly.
- Companies are making efforts to replace cables on the factory floor. Private 5G might help with this.
Private 5G can drive huge productivity gains by improving the efficiency of existing business processes. For 5G to improve processes, human ingenuity is required.
Support for New Device Categories
Private 5G will enable businesses to better support new device categories such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) goggles. The high speed and reliability of 5G will enable these devices to efficiently process images in the cloud instead of locally; this will improve the user experience.
- VR and AR goggles might be useful for maintenance. They can be used by maintenance workers to access automated assistance.
Over the next decade, hundreds of thousands of businesses are likely to deploy private 5G. Some companies might swap their physical cables for wireless. The best strategy will be to pair private 5G deployment with the business model redesign and process change.