“Why should your enterprise deploy a private network?” Webinar Q&A Recap

The Alliance for private networks recently sponsored the “Why should your enterprise deploy a private network?” webinar hosted by RCR Wireless News. During the webinar, Asimakis Kokkos, Alliance Technical Specification Group Chair and Head of Technology Ecosystems at Nokia, explored the benefits of private networks for enterprise use cases and highlighted the resources and tools our organization develops to support their efficient deployment.

If you were not able to attend the live webinar, the recording is available via RCR Wireless.  Given the active interest from participants, we’d like to share additional answers to questions that we did not have time to address during the webinar:

Q: If two networks can have the same PLMN-ID, how does the scenario with a SIM card flagging an issue when switching networks that you described not occur?

In the case of MFA PLMN-ID, there are other additional identifiers that the Alliance will provide that will be separate and orthogonal between the networks. The flag in the SIM will not be “fail to connect to the home network”, which would require a reset, but instead, it will be “attempt to connect to another network”.

For Release 16 5G S-NPNs (Standalone Non-Public Networks), there is a formal mechanism to distinguish between networks using a shared PLMN-ID via a Private Network Identifier (PN-ID). Our Alliance provides unique PN-IDs as part of our set of managed identifiers, to support S-NPNs with minimal trouble.

Q: Could you share some use cases on a hybrid network (using an N77/78) and an operator’s core?

This depends on what we mean by a “hybrid” network. If it means a shared radio between a private network core and operators’ core, then the Multi-Operator Core Network (MOCN) feature can be used. This is used when an enterprise wants to build its own private network and wants to also connect to an operator. MOCN is a form of a Neutral Host Network (NHN) and the more popular of the various options for a Neutral Host.

In this context, a hybrid network adds a private network core to the setup and has the private network acting as one of the networks served by the NHN.

There are some features added to 5G that allow private networks to be deployed over an operator’s core network – specifically, network slicing. 5G allows you to divide a physical network into multiple isolated virtual networks. This would allow the operator to deploy a private network for your use, and they own all the hardware. It’s ultimately up to the operators if they support slicing.

If by “hybrid” you mean LTE(4G) and 5G on the same network, this is termed “non-standalone” (NSA) by the 3GPP. In this scenario, an LTE network provides the command-and-control link, with a 5G channel added on for additional speed/capacity. A lot of the initial 5G deployments were NSA, though pure Standalone (SA) networks are becoming more common.

Note: MOCN and slicing are not tied to the band/channel.

Q: In the example you gave in the USA Husky Airport and replacing 39 Wi-Fi Access Points with 6 LTE stations, is this capacity related or as a result of improved coverage? Is this operating standard macro station power?

It was performance-related as Wi-Fi did not perform well in their mission-critical applications. Please download this case study for more information.

Q: If the private network does not require to be roaming outside the coverage area why does a private network require a PLMN-ID other than 999 which the ITU dedicates to private networks? Can you elaborate on the alternative PLMNID option that Nokia has acquired and whether that is more useful for multisite or roaming options?

If the device stays on-premises, then this should not be a problem. If the device goes out of the private network premises and there is another private network nearby with the same PLMN-ID (e.g. 999XY where XY are the same numbers as the home private network), it will likely try to connect and be blocked. With shared PLMN-ID, such as our Alliance PLMN-ID, you avoid this issue as there are additional identifiers, such as tracking area codes, base station numbers, etc., that are provided to help the device realize that it is another network.

As noted, using the 999 PLMN-ID is an option, if the devices stay on-premises and another network is not set up in the area that uses the 999 PLMN-ID. It’s a valid option if you have physical control of the location, devices don’t leave the premises, and you have good “buffer” areas around your location.

To benefit from the entire Q&A, please check out the  RCR Wireless recording.

Got another question for us? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to mfa@nereus-worldwide.com.