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Summary
  • Much of the buzz around 5G has focused on the public networks, but less talked about is the growing traction of private 5G networks in enterprises. Purpose-built private 5G networks are being deployed in retail stores, auto factories, electronics manufacturing, distribution facilities, oil refineries, sports arenas, campuses, and rural areas.
  • These use cases capitalize on some of the key advantages of 5G – high speeds (up to 20 Gbps+), low latency (down to one millisecond), and ability to handle thousands of devices simultaneously. Private 5G networks can also be more reliable, more secure, and provide for more control than Wi-Fi or public cell networks.
  • There’s been growing momentum around openness – “open RAN” architectures (which allow for more supplier flexibility through interoperability and standardization); open-source network management and edge computing software, and general access to unlicensed and shared spectrum, most notably the CBRS “Innovation Band.”
  • Carriers are facing competition in private cell networks from non-traditional players capitalizing on unlicensed and shared CBRS spectrum. These include enterprises setting up their own private networks, carrier-neutral managed-network providers, specialist network operators focused on verticals, and “open 5G network” players.
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