Private mobile networks are revolutionising how public and private enterprises connect, operate, and communicate across various sectors, from healthcare to venues, mining to manufacturing.

Private 5G networks are delivering the fast, secure, and efficient connectivity that all organisations need. Putting business outcomes front and centre.

Despite their existence for several years, private networks have advanced significantly since their inception. Driven by the adoption of 4G and the emergence of 5G, private network solutions have surpassed technical limitations. They have enhanced their capabilities far beyond what was possible through Wi-Fi network technology alone.

This has resulted in ubiquitous connectivity that addresses specific business challenges. While paving the way for a wide range of innovative use cases that weren’t possible or practical previously.

Outcomes have taken centre stage in the deployment of private 5G networks. Enterprises identify specific challenges and then leverage technology to address them.

Why 5G networks are a preferred choice

The appeal of private networks lies in their dedicated and secure network, meeting the stringent requirements for coverage, capacity, reliability, security, and low latency.

Organisations that have lots of data to protect and manage benefit from disconnecting from public networks. One of the standout features of these networks is their flexibility. Organisations can customise private networks to suit their needs, ensuring seamless operations in diverse environments, from bustling healthcare facilities to expansive manufacturing plants.

Private networks offer tailored coverage for large indoor areas like warehouses, transport hubs, or tunnels, ensuring smooth operations.

High capacity is another significant benefit of private networks. Particularly when made cost-effective through strategic partnerships with shared infrastructure providers. In these situations, a shared infrastructure provider configures, adapts, and upgrades the network. Hence why private networks are an increasingly attractive proposition for organisations.

Companies and leaders are using private networks more to improve their business processes and achieve strategic goals. To successfully implement this network infrastructure, finding a partner that understands your unique challenges is paramount.

The role of shared infrastructure providers in private mobile networks

Shared infrastructure providers play a crucial role in developing private mobile networks by reducing costs and generating efficiencies. Businesses can save money by sharing the costs of network upgrades. This also allows for more flexibility. Any organisation that has upgraded its networks multiple times know how costly it can be, both financially and operationally.

Shared infrastructure players provide businesses with a cost-effective option to access a network. This is particularly beneficial for companies that are worried about the financial implications. These players offer the advantages of a private network without the burden of high expenses.

They also offer greater flexibility. Small and large businesses have different needs. You can customise shared private networks for specific sectors or customers.

Which sectors should embrace private 5G networks?

Various industries like government, transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing will benefit from private networks’ reliability and low latency.

These wireless network solutions are particularly appealing for organisations seeking to modernise services and elevate their connectivity standards.

Government and local authorities can create smart communities by connecting many devices, users, and applications.

Transport hubs will benefit from the wide coverage available both indoors and outdoors. This coverage helps them serve many users and devices in busy and difficult-to-reach places.

Healthcare organisations will appreciate the reliable network connection. This connection is essential for important medical equipment, mission-critical communication, and secure transfer of large amounts of sensitive data.

Industry 4.0 will provide manufacturing with an almost unlimited range of possibilities that rely on private networks for connectivity, reliability, and fast response times.

What’s the future for private mobile networks?

The rise and wider availability of 5G is a significant turning point for private mobile networks. 5G cellular wireless technologies power private networks, offer unparalleled capability and have a huge commercial ecosystem backing them. Ultimately meeting the growing demand for reliable and ubiquitous connectivity in the supply of products and services.

Similarly, the Internet of Things has created a greater long-term demand for advanced technology through connected device penetration. Organisations must think about how to not only connect people but appliances, wearables, vehicles, and utilities cohesively and effectively.

Previously, building networks with the three Cs – coverage, capacity, and capability was the main criteria. However, public and private enterprises are now demanding a fourth ‘C’ – control. They want to have autonomy over their networks.

In 2024 and beyond, private networks will be extremely important for organisations to meet their control and independence needs. Private networks are particularly beneficial for challenging locations like factories, ports, and sports venues. They can cater to complex requirements and allow for cloud-based deployments in public, hybrid, and private settings.

Creating a private network with features that meet the specific needs of public and private enterprise stakeholders is vital. This involves carefully selecting and managing the technology to enhance customers’ ability to serve their own customers.

From a financial perspective, investigating unique models that consider both capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) implications is paramount. This allows customers to invest their money where it can generate the best returns.

What is happening with private networks in Australia?

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released a report in November 2023, it offered an in-depth review of private wireless 4G and 5G networks with a focus on Australia.

The report contained examples from various organisations. These included the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia, Brisbane City Council and Tech Event Pty Ltd. Additionally, the report included collaborations between BAI Communications and the Australian Meat Processing Corporation, Nokia and the University of Technology Sydney.

More than 50 private wireless networks are already in use in Australia, and there are plans for more. These networks are mainly in the mining and resources sector.

The report predicts that there will be an increase in private wireless networks in the future. These networks will primarily use 5G technology for advanced analytics, automation, and advanced manufacturing. By 2027, experts anticipate that the domestic market for private wireless networks will reach nearly $700 million.

According to the ACMA, key factors in deploying private wireless networks are:

  • having a sound business case for digitising operations
  • assessing the cost and complexity of deploying a network at particular locations
  • securing spectrum at desired frequencies in particular locations
  • having access to a range of industrial-grade wireless equipment at suitable frequencies.