Quarter of private LTE and 5G networks will be managed by smart cities in 2025
By 2025, almost one quarter (23 percent) of all private LTE and 5G networks will be deployed by smart cities, either at local or national government level. Other major industrial sectors to negotiate their own spectrum and manage their own wireless networks will be, in order, manufacturing, retail, transport, and utilities.
This is the conclusion of a new report from the Small Cell Forum (SCF), which considers market drivers and use cases for LTE-based private networks, as well as the role of small cells in their deployment and their upgrade path to 5G. The report is available here.
Sector by sector, with separate figures for local and national government, the projected market shares are almost identical. Local government will account for a 13 percent share of private LTE networks in 2025, compared with 12 percent for manufacturing, 11 percent each for retail and transport, 10 percent for central government, and nine percent for the energy sector.
Other sectors registering strong interest in private LTE will be: the hospitality and healthcare sector (nine percent, also, taken together); entertainment, media, arts, and sport (six percent), and finance and education (five per cent each). the agriculture sector will have some minor interest too, accounting for one percent of all private LTE rollouts.
Keyur Brahmbhatt, lead author of the report and senior product manager at ExteNet Systems, said: “Private LTE networking technology is a significant opportunity for the telco sector that can be deployed today with existing technology, rather than needing to wait for 5G.
“It has already enabled new business models, tailored service offerings and access to new or difficult to reach verticals, and allows organisations to integrate diverse sensors, machines, people, vehicles and more across a wide range of applications and usage scenarios.”
Private networks are custom designed for the specific needs of organisations, the report notes. “They can provide higher quality mobile connectivity than Wi-Fi, and have a more extensive ecosystem of technology suppliers, system integrators and service providers than proprietary solutions.”
The paper identifies barriers to the growth of private networks and recommends industry actions to address them. It was compiled by SCF members including AT&T, CommScope, Corning, Crown Castle, Ericsson, ExteNet Systems and Reliance Jio.
Prabhakar Chitrapu, chair of Small Cell Forum, said: “Our future work in this area will focus on how to manage private networks, and the impact 5G will have on private network architectures and technologies. At the heart of this will be collaborations with enterprises to capture detailed requirements specific to key sectors that will benefit most.”