Private 5G networks are having a public moment.
Private wireless networks offer untapped potential for enterprises looking to accelerate digital transformation by providing speed, innovation, enhanced security, and business cost savings across industries.
While the promise of such connectivity could benefit many businesses, it also requires them to deploy these technologies in a customizable way, which is often complex and costly.
“Enterprises not only need access to the right technology but also deep expertise in how to integrate it — from various networks to cloud connectivity and operational technology,” said Paul Savill, Global Practice Leader of Network & Edge at Kyndryl. “A customized integration partner with global scale is essential to making private 5G networks succeed.”
Ahead of the network and mobile industry’s largest show, Mobile World Congress (MWC), held Feb. 27 – March 2, 2023 in Barcelona, Savill talks about the state of the industry, the exponential growth of private 5G, and the importance of embracing partnerships and an open ecosystem.
How fast is the 5G market growing?
Private 5G networks are poised to take off. According to ABI Research, the private wireless market is expected to grow to $96.5 billion by 2030. It is the first generation of networks where the benefits and technology transformations are happening at the enterprise level before the consumer level.
Similarly, Kyndryl is seeing this growth in our Network & Edge practice. From our partnership with Nokia, our two companies have more than 100 active engagements with global enterprises, from advisory or testing to piloting or full implementation, across 24 countries. We’re just entering our second year of the partnership, and we are seeing an accelerated interest from multinational conglomerates in industries like energy, healthcare and financial services.
What are the top challenges of private 5G?
Spectrum availability was an early challenge but today it is rapidly becoming less of a barrier, with governments allocating licensed spectrum for enterprise use and the emergence of unlicensed wireless networking options. The real challenge today is ensuring that enterprises have the flexibility to customize their deployments to meet business goals.
Private 5G networks also need to be integrated with a host of other networks and technologies — the local area network, wide area network and the public cloud — so the data can be transferred and analyzed in the best location for each use case. Enterprises should find a trusted and informed partner to help secure the right spectrum and integrate all the technologies. Otherwise, enterprises may miss out on driving the full potential of their innovation and maximizing the value from their private 5G investments.
How are Kyndryl and Nokia jointly helping customers meet some of those challenges?
The biggest benefit for customers is access to expert resources and skilled practitioners to help them integrate private 5G networks so that they can customize their deployments and gain much needed flexibility based on their business needs.
Another big advantage is speed: Kyndryl and Nokia are helping customers across industries harness the power of private 5G wireless and edge computing to quickly realize the benefits of Industry 4.0. As a part of our expanded partnership, we can now rapid-prototype private 5G technology to enterprises in one to two days. We can show what this technology can unlock for enterprises in record time — this is a huge advantage as a lot of the conversations we have with companies is around what this technology will enable. There’s still a big knowledge gap on what private 5G connectivity is and the benefits the technology brings.