MFA Interviews: Shiv Putcha, Mandala Insights – Changing Trends in the Private Network Deployment Landscape

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MFA met with Mandala Insights‘ founder Shiv Putcha as part of our ongoing conversation with analysts and industry experts to discuss private network trends, and discuss the Mandala Insights report, “Changing Trends in the Private Network Deployment Landscape,” to shed light on the current private network situation in India alongside the country’s 5G rollout. Below is a recap of that conversation, particularly aimed at India-based enterprises considering private network deployments of their own.  

MFA: What prompted this report?

Shiv Putcha: The main driver for this report was to draw attention to the importance of the enterprise segment for the success of 5G deployments in India. Much of the discourse in India has traditionally been focused on the consumer segment and smartphones. Enterprise digital transformation is a relatively new theme in India, and private networks will be a key driver. Also, there has been relatively little in-depth coverage of this space in India, so we felt it was an important time to release such a report. 

MFA: What do you see as the biggest hurdle and/or advantage for deploying private networks in the region?

Putcha: The biggest hurdle is spectrum and the framework within which enterprises can gain access to suitable bandwidth. The regulatory environment in India prioritizes the auction of spectrum and predictably, the country’s incumbent mobile operators are up in arms about the prospect of spectrum being issued to an enterprise for a paltry administrative fee. While there has not been an official announcement, all current indications show that enterprises will not be allowed to acquire spectrum directly. Rather, they will have the option of “leasing” spectrum or working with telcos for a managed service.   The other big challenge is a lack of relevant use cases for the Indian context. This will take time as 5G network deployments are still in the early phases.

MFA: Which industries do you think would benefit most from private network deployment and why?

Putcha: While there are several verticals undergoing digital transformation, we believe that three stand out:

  • Utilities are the first, covering both the electricity and natural gas distribution markets. Around the world, utilities are investing in field area networks (FANs) that operate within a private network deployment to cover endpoints like smart meters and others.
  • Manufacturing is the next vertical of interest. The “Make in India” program launched by the Government is seeing a lot of traction and there are several use cases already evident in manufacturing facilities, from automated vehicles to employee safety to inventory control and more.
  • Transportation is another vertical that we believe will see demand for private networks. In recent years, India has experienced massive investments toward transportation-related infrastructure. The most visible manifestation of this is in the thousands of kilometres of new roads and expressways that have been built, but also in new airports and port infrastructure.

MFA: Can you share any particularly interesting findings from your report?

Putcha: Mandala Insights projects that by 2027, total spending on private networks in India will rise to $240 million, including managed services, equipment leasing and direct CAPEX by enterprises. Only a quarter of sites will be deployed as dedicated, standalone networks run by enterprises. The majority will be deployed as a Service (aaS) by Communication Service Providers (CSPs) or System Integrators (Sis).

MFA: Any trends/changes in the market that you’ve seen since your initial report that you find interesting?

Putcha: Since we published the report last year, the regulator is hard at work to come up with a framework for private networks. Besides conversations around how to allocate spectrum, there has also been discussion about whether to create a separate, dedicated spectrum band for private network usage; similar to the n79 band being used in North Asian markets like Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

MFA: Where can readers find your full report and when do you expect the next one to be published?

Putcha: As this report is client-access only, the simplest way would be to reach out to me through LinkedIn. We can share an exec summary with anyone interested.

Shiv Putcha is the Founder and Principal Analyst at Mandala Insights. Shiv is also the publisher of a new blog/newsletter, Beyond the Next Billion, that is published on LinkedIn. Prior to founding Mandala, he covered the telecommunications industry in Asia-Pacific for IDC and Ovum, along with stints at the Yankee Group, Qualcomm and LogicaCMG while based in the United States.

Private Wireless Networks Benefit Port and Manufacturing Industries

The global manufacturing and port industries have made significant strides in recent years. New technologies, including the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and smart automation, have transformed traditional linear manufacturing supply chains into intelligent, dynamic, and flexible systems. Meanwhile, ports have become more sophisticated, with an increasing focus on optimizing the movement of goods, reducing downtime, and improving worker safety.

One key technology driving these changes is private wireless networks. With a private network, ports and manufacturing facilities can create intelligent, dynamic, and flexible systems that offer a range of benefits, including speed, reliability, security, mobility, and full site coverage. However, these ports and manufacturers cannot always access licensed spectrum, and public networks cannot always meet the coverage and reliability requirements of ports with complex environments.

MFA, the Alliance for private networks, is championing the global industry adoption of private networks in any available spectrum using Uni5G™ technology blueprints for 5G and MFA-defined MulteFire® specifications for 4G/LTE. MFA’s Uni5G technology blueprints and MulteFire specifications can help port authorities and manufacturing enterprises unlock and easily deploy and operate their own secure 5G or 4G/LTE private network to accelerate their digital transformation using any available spectrum including locally licensed, shared, and unlicensed spectrum.

For port and terminal operators, private networks offer significant benefits. They can increase productivity through more automation and remote control, enable true, transparent visibility into everything in the terminal, and reduce downtime with seamless handover and extended coverage across the entire port. Private networks also allow for the deployment of AI to solve efficiency and even address safety issues.

Manufacturing enterprises can also benefit from private wireless networks that allow them to enable smart manufacturing. Intelligent automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and improved augmented and virtual reality overlays become possible with a private network. With a private network, reconfiguring factory floors becomes easier, reducing costly product stops typical in fixed wired environments. Private networks also allow manufacturers to analyze, predict, and prescribe processes for better performance, longer maintenance cycles, and energy savings.

Private networks offer a simple, productive, and efficient solution that manufacturing and port facilities require, and MFA is working to help simplify the deployment of these private networks through its growing ecosystem of members. To learn more, watch MFA’s port and manufacturing videos for specific use case examples of how MFA can help you experience the full benefits of a private network today.

Hannover Messe 2023: Exploring the impact of 5G private networks on industrial automation

Hannover Messe is one of the largest industrial-focused trade shows in the world. Each year companies come from all over to see the latest trends in industrial manufacturing and learn more about state-of-the-art developments to help increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. One of this year’s major themes centered around solutions for connectivity and helping enterprises, regardless of their vertical segment, find the most efficient ways to achieve their digital transformation strategies and connect everything to their networks, from mission-critical machinery on the manufacturing floor to autonomous guided vehicles (AVGs) of all sizes operating across a facility.  

MFA had the opportunity this year to participate in the “Industrial Wireless and 5G Arena,” an area dedicated to the discussion of wireless solutions for industrial use cases. The MFA booth welcomed visitors – conference attendees and exhibitors – interested in discussing their 5G private network needs. MFA’s Uni5G technology blueprints were hailed as a significant benefit for the industry, and we are excited to continue to share this resource.

Presentations on the Industrial Wireless & 5G Conference Stage shed light on the incredible number of organizations and enterprises working to address the wide range of use cases and meet the unique industrial communication needs through the deployment of 5G private networks. MFA was excited to present on two separate occasions – click the link below to watch each presentation.  

Click the Above Images to View the Presentations

Overall, Hannover Messe was a success, allowing MFA the chance to meet with decision makers seeking solutions to their digital transformation and private network needs. It was wonderful to see the interest in the tools MFA offers – from the Uni5G technology blueprints or MulteFire specification, to the interactive regional spectrum map to help enterprises understand what is available in their area.

Whether online, or in person at events like Hannover Messe, MFA continues to work with our member companies to help you to implement your 5G private network device. Learn more about the Uni5G technology blueprints and discover how they can help with your deployment.

Evangelizing the possibilities of private wireless networks – our visit to MWC Barcelona 2023

MFA enjoyed a successful return to Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona earlier this year, a show that attracts more than 88,500 attendees from 202 countries and territories. The event theme for 2023 – “Velocity” – highlighted the roll of 5G in enterprises, AI advancements and benefits, the ever expanding digital divide, and the explosion in network traffic driving the need for increased capacity at the edge of the network.

Enterprises are turning more and more to private LTE and 5G networks to meet the connectivity requirements of mission-critical devices and applications. During our time there, we met with interested attendees, potential new members, and press and analysts seeking to better understanding the benefits of private wireless networks for enterprises and industrial environments. The meetings resulted in some compelling conversations where we uncovered new challenges to tackle and identified new potential partnership opportunities with like-minded organizations.

MFA President Mazen Chmaytelli and MFA Board Chair Stephan Litjens also met with RCR Wireless to discuss how enterprises can simplify their own 3GPP-based private network deployments using Uni5G™ technology blueprints and learn how we are tracking and sharing available spectrum options. You can view the full interviews below.

Are you interested to learn more about MFA’s resources and tools? Review our private network resources below.

  • Uni5G technology blueprints outline essential features allowing enterprises to rapidly and seamlessly deploy their own 5G private network – ensuring that coverage, reliability, density, and latency requirements are being met.
  • MFA’s shared global PLMN-ID provides uniquely identified private network access – guaranteeing secure systems for enterprises.
  • A publicly available private network tracker and interactive spectrum map to monitor the rapid deployment of networks and identify available spectrum opportunities by country and/or region.