The Alliance for Private Networks is looking forward to returning to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona – the industry’s largest and most influential event for the connectivity ecosystem. This year’s event theme, Future First, will focus on bringing the ecosystem and community together to realize the future’s potential.
The Alliance is committed to championing the global industry adoption of private networks by educating the ecosystem and providing publicly available tools that ease deployment, such as Uni5G technology blueprints, our unique global PLMN-ID, and acting as a 3GPP Market Representation Partner.
Visit our booth in Hall 7, Booth 7F13, to understand the benefits of private networks and learn how the Alliance is enabling industry verticals to efficiently deploy their own optimized, reliable, and secure 5G private network in any available spectrum.
If you are interested in learning more about the Alliance, attend our presentation at the Global 5G Alliance Summit taking place in GSMA Knowledge Zone (Hall 8.1 CC8.17 & 8.16) on Thursday, February 29, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am CET.
Follow us on X and LinkedIn for updates during MWC 2024. If you would like to meet with our representatives to learn more about private network trends, schedule a meeting with a representative here.
By Asimakis Kokkos, MFA Technical Specification Group Chair
The Alliance for Private Networks is proud to announce the completion of our first set of Uni5G™ technology blueprints based on 3GPP Release 15. These blueprints were developed to help industry verticals deploy their own 5G private networks that are designed specifically to meet their requirements for coverage, reliability, connection density, and latency.
We started this project over a year ago when we partnered with Beecham Research to interview industries operating around the world in a variety of sectors to assess their connectivity requirements. Based on their responses, we were able to identify four attributes that were required beyond baseline enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB).
Identify 3GPP Features
The second step was to identify the exact 3GPP features in Release 15 that industry verticals should implement to achieve coverage, reliability, connection density and low latency for their deployment scenario. 3GPP Release 15 has hundreds of features to choose from so this can be an overwhelming task for industry verticals that are not telecom experts. After extensive review, we narrowed down the options to 10 feature categories – with each category including between one and nine features with a total of 35 features.
Mapping Feature Categories to 3GPP Features
The next step was the mapping. We looked at each feature category and mapped the 3GPP features required to support each industry attribute.
What we found in our mapping is that the features that support coverage also improve reliability. And the features that support connection density also reduce latency. So, if an industry vertical wants to ensure that their network deployment will support their connection density requirements, they will also gain the advantage of lower latency.
The mapping resulted in three Uni5G blueprint families.
Uni5G technology blueprint 15.1 which supports reliability and coverage requirements.
Uni5G technology blueprint 15.2 which supports latency and density requirements.
Uni5G technology blueprint 15.3 which supports all requirements.
Within each blueprint family, we also identified a “basic” version and an “extended” version. Each extended version implements a few additional features. This provides industry verticals with the option to purchase and deploy either a basic or high-end device that will work best for them. For example, a port operator can take the Uni5G Technology Blueprint to their vendor of choice and let them know which features their devices need to implement.
By combing through the hundreds of 3GPP features and identifying just the features needed for private network deployments by industry verticals, the Alliance is taking the guess work out of the process. With Uni5G technology blueprints, the Alliance is realizing its mission to provide a simplified path to 5G private networks.
The Alliance 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
The Alliance 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. Our booth welcomed visitors – conference attendees and exhibitors – interested in discussing their 5G private network needs. The 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. We were excited to present on two separate occasions – click the link below to watch each presentation.
MFA’s Board Chair Stephan Litjens spoke on the benefits of 5G and private networks for manufacturing facilities and explained the tools and resources necessary for establishing a private network and achieving their digital transformation goals.Asimakis Kokkos, MFA Technical Specification Group Chair, presented on the state of 5G development, the 3GPP features ready for use, and addressed how MFA can help provide enterprises with the tools they need to overcome deployment hurdles and establish a unique private network.
Click the Above Images to View the Presentations
Overall, Hannover Messe was a success, allowing the Alliance 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 we offer – 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, the Alliance 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.
We 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.
The Alliance for private networks President Mazen Chmaytelli and 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 our resources and tools? Review our private network resources below.
Uni5G technology blueprintsoutline 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.
PLMN-ID provides uniquely identified private network access – guaranteeing secure systems for enterprises.
Each year, Hannover Messe plays host to some incredible examples of technological innovation. Next week, the show’s focus is set on the challenges facing the technology industry amid energy and supply chain issues; and will undoubtedly offer some creative solutions.
The Alliance is committed to addressing these and other industry challenges through the deployment of private networks in any available spectrum, globally. We provides resources that simplify the path to deployment with tools based on 3GPP 5G standards including the Uni5G™ technology blueprints, global PLMN-ID access, and a comprehensive spectrum availability tracker.
Visit our booth in Hall 014, stand H06-15 to explore use cases and learn how the Alliance is enabling industry verticals to efficiently deploy their own optimized, reliable, and secure 5G private network in locally licensed, shared, and unlicensed spectrum.
If you are curious about, or are already planning to implement, a private network for your location, attend our presentation “How to Deploy a 5G Private Network to Accelerate Your Facility’s Digital Transformation” taking place on the Industrial Wireless Arena + 5G Networks & Applications stage in Hall 14. MFA’s private network experts will be presenting on two days for your convenience, so be sure to add one to your calendar now!
Monday, April 17 from 5:00 – 5:20 pm CEDT
Wednesday, April 19 from 9:35 – 9:55 am CEDT
For the latest on our Hannover Messe activities, be sure to follow us on Twitter @MFA_Technology. If you would like to meet with our representatives to learn more about potential use case scenarios as well as the benefits of private network deployment from a 3GPP Market Representation Partner, schedule a meeting here.
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 Private Network Identifier Program. Most recently, the Alliance 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
The Alliance 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, we are making this PLMN-ID available for public use to any industry vertical deploying its own private network.
Our Certification Authority, Ed Pichon, recently conducted a webinar and shared detailed information about the 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 the Alliance, and how to obtain identifiers from the Alliance.
Industry 4.0 is best served by private 5G networks – particularly for demanding applications within the manufacturing and process industries. Plug-and-play 5G connectivity makes it possible to efficiently support the wide range of wireless communication applications needed in smart manufacturing including real-time applications, preventive maintenance and remote operations. With private 5G networks, enterprises can enjoy optimized, reliable, and secure wireless connectivity with on-premises data management for increased flexibility and efficiency.
With this in mind, the Alliance is excited to share that we have established a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 5G-ACIA, the global leading organization for driving and shaping Industrial 5G. Our joint efforts will help advance the adoption of 5G private networks in manufacturing and process industries, encouraging more companies to take advantage of the spectrum options available around the world.
Officially, the MoU establishes an open communication channel for exchanging information between the two organizations for the development of joint industry white papers, market research efforts, and collective event participation. More importantly, we are confident that this MoU will amplify the efforts of both organizations, our members, and the global ecosystem as well, to facilitate 5G private network deployments so that enterprises experience the benefits of a dedicated, optimized and secure network now.
The leadership of both organizations shared their thoughts regarding the impact of this MoU:
Mazen Chmaytelli, President
“The Alliance for Private Networks welcomes the opportunity to partner with 5G-ACIA to jointly advance the global 5G private network adoption in manufacturing and process industries. With this partnership we can combine resources in targeted efforts to accelerate 5G private network adoption for industrial applications.”
Dr. Andreas Mueller, 5G-ACIA Chair
“Private networks play a crucial role for the adoption of 5G in the industrial domain due to special performance, security and business requirements. Therefore, 5G-ACIA has played a pivotal role in the development of private mobile networks ever since. We are very excited to join forces with MFA in order to lay the foundation for a more widespread adoption of private networks in the manufacturing and process industries in future.”
The Alliance for private networks is providing a new resource center for enterprises seeking information on how to simplify deployment of their own private network that meets 3GPP standards. These free tools include technology blueprints for 5G private network deployment, an interactive map displaying available spectrum options, state of private network tracker to give a pulse on industry adoption, our monthly newsletter, and the network identifier program. Continue reading for a closer look!
Uni5G – The Uni5G technology blueprints leverage 3GPP 5G standards to define profiling and classification requirements, enabling enterprises to deploy their own optimized, reliable, and secure 5G private network. The blueprints provide recommended key functionalities for coverage, reliability, connection density, and latency. Enterprises can then share the blueprints with equipment manufacturers to facilitate their automation goals in locally licensed, shared, and unlicensed spectrum. Download the blueprints here.
Interactive spectrum map – We developed an interactive spectrum map that allows enterprises to identify the available spectrum for their individual country and/or region. The map will be regularly updated and is hosted on the website for easy reference. Be sure to bookmark the page for the latest availability in your area.
State of private network tracker – In partnership with industry analyst firm Mobile Experts, our state of private network tracker sheds light on the number of deployments and the state of private networks across a variety of industry verticals and regions where they are gaining ground. The Alliance is committed to monitoring this information and sharing it with anyone interested in learning more about the private network opportunity. For more, download the Private Network Market Update report.
Insights – Private Networks Report newsletter – Our recently launched newsletter provides enterprises with regular updates on advancements in private network deployment, industrial use cases, and information to help you connect with the resources and tools – including white papers, case studies, and specification updates – the Alliance provides. Subscribe today at www.mfa-tech.org/newsletter.
Network Identifier Program – This program enables enterprises who deploy private networks anywhere in the world to get their own unique network identifier (PLMN-ID). The unique network identifier is critical to authenticate devices connected to a private cellular network, ensuring increased reliability and security.
Look for more from the Alliance in future blogs.
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