Lauren Womack

You may have noticed that discussion and enthusiasm about private 5G networks are on the rise. A recent report from NTT Ltd. and Economist Impact, Private 5G here and now, showed significant worldwide interest, with 90 percent of CIOs and executive decision-makers expressing the belief that private 5G will become the new standard for networks and 51 percent of companies planning to deploy a private 5G network scheduled for year-end 2024. When you consider that a private 5G network is flexible and allows devices to be deployed, fine-tuned, and moved without the complications and costs of wired, hardware-based networks, it seems like a smart move. 

Private 5G is intriguing, right? But how do you know if a private 5G network is right for you? Communications service providers (CSPs) and enterprises should ask the following five questions to determine if private 5G is the next step forward.

Is there a cost-benefit? 

Implementing a private 5G network won’t be cheap, so you should anticipate your return on investment (ROI). Are you looking at the additional revenue a private 5G network can generate based on higher-speed communication and the related services it can support? Will the enhanced security capabilities of a private network allow you to offer more services or applications to your customers? Once you’ve decided to move ahead with a private 5G network, you’ll need to baseline your current environment. You may want to consult NETSCOUT’s 5G Life Cycle information as a starting point to help plan your private 5G rollout. 

Does your IT team have the expertise to operate the network?

As with private 4G networks, private 5G networks require a vastly different skill set from a Wi-Fi network, and a private 5G network has new and complex security challenges as well. The responsibility for deploying and maintaining the critical infrastructure is in the hands of enterprise network operations. 

What are the security implications?

5G requires a greater focus on security and protection from threats because its expanded bandwidth enables more users and devices to be connected. It is also software-based, without the built-in “choke points” of previous centralized hardware-based networks. Conversely, security concerns are accelerating private 5G adoption because private 5G networks provide significantly more security capabilities. 

Is site-specific 5G required?

Even in areas where wired connectivity is difficult or unavailable, carriers can create secure and reliable private 5G networks. Similarly, enterprises can establish private 5G inside structures where 5G is not yet available from their carriers, making fast connectivity available where it’s needed. And a private, in-house 5G network is not just fast, and it’s private. High-security sites such as airports and government offices worldwide can benefit from their own 5G networks. What sort of security do your clients or businesses need?

What is your spectrum strategy?

Private 5G requires enterprises to gain access to bandwidth on a sanctioned 5G spectrum, and it's important to understand the pros and cons of each option to determine the best path for establishing your private 5G network.

Read the full article for more in-depth information.

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