Gary Woolley, Director: Solutions, Comsol.

Gary Woolley, Director: Solutions, Comsol.

5G private network technologies have evolved rapidly, making this the year that enterprises will begin to seriously deploy private 5G networks.

That’s according to Gary Woolley, Comsol Executive: Solutions, who says enterprise-grade private 5G network technology is maturing, with OEMs and system integrators coming to market with more granular solutions that meet the needs of businesses across multiple sectors.

According to Analysys Mason, the adoption of new private networks internationally has been driven by large organizations with networking teams and significant in-house expertise. They expect this to continue into 2023, but note that private network solutions will need to be simpler and easier to buy if 5G is to penetrate the next level of business.

Woolley says: “South African companies have shown great interest in the opportunities of private 5G, but until fairly recently, OEMs and telecom operators did not offer real granularity in service offerings and pricing structures. Very specific technologies, network architectures, pricing structures and service level agreements are required to meet the unique needs of a wide range of industries. Proper pre- and post-implementation planning and support is needed, and the market needs to push the boundaries between product sets and what companies are actually asking for. Today, we are seeing more R&D and a wider range of solutions being developed, which meet specific industry requirements.

These unique requirements could include the need to operate stand-alone equipment on a mine, for example.

Woolley says the true value of 5G private networks depends on more than the fundamental 5G technology: “You have to focus on how the solution is installed. For proper 5G coverage and performance, the environment must be properly assessed and the right mast, power, and bonding technologies must be incorporated. Additionally, SLAs must be tailored to meet the needs of organizations whose mission-critical systems depend on highly available networks.

With OEMs and system integrators increasingly able to meet enterprise needs in the marketplace, Woolley expects pioneering companies to begin planning 5G private networks and executing proofs of concept this year. . “So far, adoption has been relatively slow in South Africa, as many organizations want to see examples of existing deployments and use cases before taking action. However, as the technology has matured and private 5G networks offer compelling business value, we expect early adopters to start deploying their own private 5G networks and proofs of concept this year.

He notes that elsewhere in the world, organizations that deploy private 5G networks to meet a handful of business needs typically discover a host of additional use cases and reduce their reliance on other technologies, saving money. money while improving their efficiency.

“We’re seeing that they’re starting to automate more systems – because they can – and getting more value. A private 5G network can span a wide area, so organizations are starting to use vehicles stand-alone, heavy equipment, and voice systems on their networks, they find they can replace two-way radio systems and don’t need to refresh their WiFi networks, because now they have coverage coverage indoors and out. the outside.

Woolley adds, “5G is not just about capacity, but also offers reliability, lower latency, and the ability to better secure data by keeping it all on campus. This meets the continuity requirements of critical systems and systems that support health and safety, improve productivity and efficiency, and save costs.

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