Private LTE & 5G networks to surpass $5B annually by 2021

Equipment vendors are pitching turn-key "network in a box" technology to governments and enterprises eager to deploy wide area networks in localities without existing adequate infrastructure.

Separating the hype from reality in initial 5G mobile networks and smartphones James Sanders and Karen Roby discuss the immediate future of 5G mobile networks and smartphones, and how existing equipment cannot be updated to 5G via software updates.

One of the realities of modern technology--and consequences of living in a cloud-connected society--is that business and consumer electronics effectively require some degree of internet access to fully leverage the features touted on the packaging. For public sector organizations charged with ensuring public safety, as well as military deployments requiring infrastructure to practically sprout from the ground upon arrival, the ability to bring up infrastructure to power these devices is nothing short of mission critical. Likewise, in the energy sector, operations in remote areas such as oil rigs located in rural or offshore environments require modern communications systems to ensure safety and efficiency.

SEE: 5G technology: A business leader's guide (Tech Pro Research)

Equipment vendors and mobile network operators are pitching turn-key Private LTE, and increasingly Private 5G networks, to solve the connectivity challenges present for those organizations, with that market expected to surpass $5 billion USD annually by 2021, according to a report by ReportsnReports published Monday.

The 3GPPP has standardized Mission-Critical Push-to-Talk (MCPTT) for LTE, a 21st-century implementation of the PTT functionality offered popularly in the US by Nextel on their 800 MHz iDEN network, often used by construction and energy firms. The new standard is currently being commercialized in the US by AT&T FirstNet.

The report indicates that "critical communications and industrial IoT segment will continue to dominate the market in the coming years, primarily driven by the wide-area and ubiquitous coverage requirements of ongoing nationwide public safety LTE network rollouts," including FirstNet, "supported by considerable investments in the military, energy, utilities, mining and transportation sectors."

SEE: How 5G will transform business (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Likewise, private, turn-key private networks operating in the 3.5 GHz CBRS and 5GHz unlicensed bands are likely to gain significant traction for LTE and 5G network deployments "across a range of environments, particularly enterprise buildings, public venues, factories and warehouses," according to the report. Mobile network operators are aiming to provide their expertise and spectrum holdings in this market by providing access to licensed (though heretofore unutilized) spectrum for organizations to operate their own private LTE networks.

To learn more about how 5G mobile networks will impact your business, check out this TechRepublic cheat sheet.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • The popular push-to-talk functionality for LTE is being implemented in modern networks under the MCPTT standard, commercialized in the US first by AT&T FirstNet.
  • Turn-key private networks operating in the 3.5 GHz CBRS and 5GHz unlicensed bands are likely to gain significant traction for LTE and 5G network deployments.

Also see

istock-1028710028.jpg
Getty Images/iStockphoto