by Michael Cooney
Senior Editor, Network World

Interest in deploying a private 5G network is growing among enterprises, but mainstream deployment faces a number of obstacles, including competition from less complicated and more widely available wireless options such as Wi-Fi 6/6E.

Private 5G could be a game changer for some enterprises, particularly in the industrial, automotive, and energy sectors. A private 5G network can guarantee throughput and latency levels that next-generation use cases require, according to research firm Gartner. But it's still very early in the private-5G game. It could take a decade for it to take hold, as 5G coverage needs to expand and costs for 5G subscription plans and capable devices need to come down.

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Ultimately, customers will have to evaluate how they want 5G delivered: via a truly private play or a semi-private variation of a managed service or a fully managed service from a carrier, experts say. "Customers can buy the parts and pieces from the likes of Ericsson, Nokia, Celona or via partners like Cisco/HPE/AWS." said Brannon Holliger, practice lead, enterprise private wireless, with World Wide Technology.

Technology partners are looking to simplify the deployment and operation of the evolved packet core (EPC), which includes services, management and packet control for mobile environments, Holliger said. "Examples include dashboards, workflows to automate configuration, and variations of on-prem and cloud-based hosted cores," he said.



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