A key theme in the 2020s mobile industry will be private cellular networks – initially 4G-based, then transitioning to 5G as it matures. Enterprises, indoor structures, governments, IT solution providers, industrial players, cities, transport hubs and numerous other sectors will deploy, run and own cellular networks.
Various business models and architectures are emerging, supported by better availability of spectrum, more open platforms and broadening ecosystems of vendors, integrators and technology shifts. The US CBRS gold rush and the German industrial 5G initiatives are prime examples. UK, France, Japan, Nordics and others are also following.
Easier access to spectrum, more flexible open network options and a growing ecosystem of integrators and niche Service Providers (SPs) is making private cellular far easier, even as demand grows with IoT and industrial transformation. And while private networks may never account for billions of connections, the broader impact on enterprise, network coverage, and economic growth and productivity is likely to be disproportionately higher. This comprehensive 27-page paper examines the trends and opportunities.