Home5GTransatel intros LTE and 5G roaming between public and private networks

Transatel intros LTE and 5G roaming between public and private networks

NTT-owned IoT MVNO-enabler Transatel has introduced a private LTE/5G extension for its IoT roaming SIM to enable connected devices to switch between public and private cellular networks. It described the new feature as “critical given the massive adoptions of private 5G in factories and campuses expected in the next few years.”

Transatel provides cellular connectivity and support systems for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), effectively enabling (as an MVNE) their global cellular services. Its parent, NTT, has been busy in the developing private LTE and 5G market, introducing its own private networks bundle at the end of last summer, and a partnership with US software firm ServiceNow to introduce AI workflow automation into the mix last month. 

An NTT-commissioned report by The Economist newspaper says over half of manufacturing companies plan to deploy a private 5G network within the next two years, with a view to launch various AI and IoT-based Industry 4.0 tech. A press statement also quoted ABI Research that the private LTE and 5G markets will reach $66.88 billion and $47.5 billion respectively ($109 billion together) in 2030. It also quoted Omdia that 75 percent of enterprises want hybrid public-private 5G solutions – and therefore the ability to roam between.

Moves to enable this roaming are apparent, including among the IoT MVNO community. Ireland-based private core network provider Druid Software said in October it is working with Proximus and BICS to test outbound roaming between public 5G SA networks, as well as to enable enterprises to roam between private and public network infrastructure. A number of companies at MWC 2022 this week have talked of similar initiatives.

Transatel said: “Options to expand a private cellular network beyond its perimeter exist but they imply multiple roaming agreements and the creation of multiple interconnections with public networks. Such an approach tends to quickly become costly and time-consuming and complexifies projects implementation while putting the network security at risk.”

Transatel [has] developed a set of APIs enabling its SIM to seamlessly switch between private and public cellular networks, worldwide. It said it can offer roaming on private networks in 180 countries, noting its potential value in supply-chain markets for asset tracking, to monitor goods as they travel between factories, campuses, harbours and airports, notably.

It said: “This breakthrough feature will ensure critical operations continuity as moving devices such as automated guided vehicles, autonomous mobile robots, always-connected PCs, or push-to-talk applications for field personnel require uninterrupted connectivity, even at the edge where the private network may be unavailable or out of reach.”

Christian Regnier, co-founder and chairman at the European Users Wireless Enterprise Network Association (EUWENA), and founder and chairman of PRIVINNET, said the solution “removes complexity and frees private network owners from establishing complex roaming agreements with numerous national mobile carriers.”

Romain Durand, R&D and innovation director at Transatel, said: “We have developed a natively secure solution, enabling our SIM to seamlessly switch between private and any public cellular networks. Our clients can now choose how and when their SIM switch from their own private to public networks. This automatic or manual network switch set up can be based on SIM location, NFC detection, vocal command, use of a specific application on the connected device or even depending on the hour of the day.”

Deutsche Telekom
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