Deploying a Private 5G Network

May 5th, 2023

We’ve been hearing more and more from customers about deploying a private 5G network. While we at Ribbon don’t make the radio access network (RAN) components, we do have subject matter expertise in the underlying data network, working with carriers, wholesale providers, and enterprises to solve for traffic backhaul. In this blog post, I’ll provide some background as well as direct you to some interesting content to research.

As you’d expect, private 5G networks are owned and operated by individual businesses, rather than by a public carrier. We’re already seeing them in education, manufacturing, energy exploration, and healthcare, with more on the way.

Private 5G Network Advantages

Some of the advantages of private 5G include:

  • Control: Businesses have complete control over their private 5G networks, including the frequency bands used, the network architecture, and the security measures in place.
  • Performance: Private 5G networks can be customized to meet the specific needs of the business, ensuring that they have the performance they need to support their applications.
  • Security: Private 5G networks are more secure than public networks, as they are not shared with other businesses. This is important for businesses that handle sensitive data.

5G technologies will transform your network

Grandview Research puts the global private 5G market at USD 1.61 billion in 2022 and expects it to witness compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51.2% from 2023 to 2030. Clearly, 5G networks have the potential to revolutionize the way that businesses operate, and they are a key part of the future of enterprise wireless.

Texas A&M University has been at the forefront of private 5G research, recently launching a test bed at their Rellis research campus, as well as their main campus and the Disaster City campus (and read this NYT article – fascinating!). (disclosure – Ribbon is doing the backhaul network for the Texas A&M network). With this network, A&M can test and research any number of scenarios, furthering 5G’s advancement into the private sector.

Private 5G: Does your network need it?

However, private 5G may not be for everyone. Network World published an article diving into some of the pros and cons, and it’s a good starter to examine whether it makes sense for you. Some of the things discussed in the article are:

  • 5G vs. WiFi (in a lot of settings, a meshed WiFi network will suffice)
  • Mobility (the more you have a use case they requires hand-offs from private to public networks, the more it makes sense)
  • Security and dedicated capacity (discussed above)

As with most things it comes down to economies of scale. As private 5G gets cheaper and easier to deploy (and becomes cost competitive with WiFi for in-building networks) its adoption will accelerate.

As always, drop me a note if you want to learn more – I can put you in touch with one of our technical resources.