Private 5G is technology that can be used in local area networks. Not to be confused with the public 5G connectivity offered by telephone companies, private 5G is used in corporate campuses, office buildings, factories and warehouses, event venues, and airports, either instead of or in addition to Wi-Fi.
According to an unpublished survey from research firm Forrester, 44% of corporate telecommunications decision-makers plan to create private 5G networks. Industries with significant private 5G plans include water and waste, high-tech manufacturing, and retail and wholesale. Other areas where private 5G might crop up include stadiums and construction sites, says Forrester analyst Andre Kindness. “They’re prime for 5G technologies.”
The technology is very new, and few enterprises have the expertise to deploy it themselves, so most companies that want to use private 5G are turning to service providers to help set up the networks. Providers include telcos, private wireless network vendors, original equipment manufacturers, systems integrators, and major cloud players.
Enterprises will have to decide what kind of provider makes the most sense given the scale and complexity of their environments. There are pros and cons to each private 5G approach, and service levels can vary dramatically.