MFA, the Alliance for private networks, continues to champion the global industry adoption of private networks in any available spectrum, from developing Uni5G™ technology blueprints for 5G private network devices and making them available to creating the MFA Private Network Identifier Program. Most recently, MFA secured its own Public Land Mobile Network ID (PLMN-ID) as another way we can help enterprises successfully plan and deploy their own 5G private network in locally licensed spectrum.
What is a PLMN-ID?
PLMN-IDs are used to identify many wireless networks, and they have been an integral way of managing how mobile devices connect to the correct network. The network broadcasts its PLMN-ID, and devices look for networks broadcasting a known PLMN-ID. In 3GPP networks (LTE and 5G NR) PLMN-IDs are incorporated into the identifiers of many network components to ensure those identifiers are globally unique. Each network carrier is assigned its own globally unique PLMN-ID to identify its network, manage subscribers, and prevent network confusion or “collisions.”.
Assignment of PLMN-IDs is overseen by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). There is a limited number of PLMN-IDs available, so getting one can be difficult. Applicants are typically public network operators who already have their own regional spectrum license —something that is uncommon for the average private network operator. These applicants typically apply for a country-specific PLMN-ID that is assigned by their local governing authority and limits the applicability of the PLMN-ID in the specific country. Globally usable PLMN-IDs, however, are assigned directly by the ITU to global operators and satellite operators. There are even fewer global PLMN-IDs available, and acquiring one is a long, difficult process that can often take multiple years for private industries to acquire.
The MFA PLMN-ID
MFA understands that getting a PLMN-ID can be difficult, if not impossible, for private LTE and 5G networks. We have solved that problem for you by working with the ITU to secure our own shared PLMN-ID. To help simplify your network deployment, MFA is making this PLMN-ID available for public use to any industry vertical deploying its own private network.
MFA’s Certification Authority, Ed Pichon, recently conducted a webinar and shared detailed information about the MFA PLMN-ID and how companies can benefit. Watch the webinar to learn more about why PLMN identifiers are important, how and what identifiers are managed by MFA, and how to obtain identifiers from the MFA.