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Publication Name: Tele Net
Date: June 13, 2024

Pioneering 5G Deployment Strategies

Pioneering 5G Deployment Strategies

Businesses are increasingly recognising the transformative potential of 5G and find it essential to implement effective strategies to harness its benefits to the maximum. Initially, enterprises and businesses assess the current infrastructure to find the best areas where 5G can make a significant impact. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) also need to determine specific use cases where 5G technology can drive value. For instance, enhanced mobile broadband, internet of things (IoT) connectivity, augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), remote operations, or real-time data analytics.

Some of the other strategies that can be deployed include pilot projects and proof-of-concept. Businesses can conduct trial runs or proof of concepts to evaluate 5G technology in real-world situations. This helps validate its performance, identify potential challenges, and even refine implementation strategies ahead of a wider rollout. More importantly, security and data privacy are integral parts of 5G deployment strategies. It is necessary to deploy strong security protocols to protect sensitive information and address potential cyber threats.

Another vital element is investing in infrastructure to sustain 5G technologies. It is necessary to allocate resources towards enhancing infrastructure to accommodate 5G connectivity. This can include network apparatus, antennas, compatible devices, and so on. It is important to take into account factors such as coverage, capacity, and latency needed to optimise network efficiency.

Use cases of private enterprises using 5G

Using private 5G networks brings several advantages when compared to relying on public cellular networks. For instance, enterprises have greater control over network performance and increased security, which can be further tailored to meet business expectations. Some of the use cases of private enterprise 5G can be understood with the following:

Campus networks: private 5G networks within educational and research campuses are one of the most common use cases. This can be seen in hospitals, universities, corporate campuses, and other large facilities. With private enterprise 5G networks, students and employees have access to high-speed connectivity to ensure routine tasks go smoothly. Some of the applications include virtual classrooms, virtual meetings, telemedicine, research, and so on.

Government/Military: Similarly, several government and military organisations also deploy private 5G networks. The key advantage for such institutions is the enhanced privacy and security of the network, which is vital here. It also better defends against cyber threats and ensures continuity of operations while also keeping sensitive data safe.

Industrial IoT (IIoT): Additionally, private enterprise 5G networks are used for industrial purposes, popularly in IIoT. This is further spread out to manufacturing, logistics, and utilities. Enterprises tap into secured 5G networks for real-time monitoring and control of machinery, predictive maintenance, and optimisation of production processes.

Smart warehouses: We can also see the deployment of private 5G networks in smart warehouses that help enable advanced automation. 5G connections here further help in the optimisation of warehouses and distribution centres, including autonomous mobile robots for picking and sorting goods, real-time inventory tracking, and efficient use of resources.

Regions and industries with strong uptake for 5G

As far as the evolution of private 5G networks is concerned, a few key areas continue to evolve. This can be with edge computing, network slicing, open radio access network (O-RAN), and more. More importantly, private 5G networks are expected to further integrate with other emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and IoT to create new value propositions and business opportunities. We can expect evolved private 5G networks to play a crucial role in smart cities, autonomous vehicles, precision agriculture, and more.

The application of private enterprise 5G is immense and still budding. There are several industries and sectors where strong uptake of private 5G technology is expected as it leverages to tap into specific requirements and opportunities. Some of these include healthcare, the manufacturing sector, and transportation. Healthcare institutions such as hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities have the opportunity to utilise private 5G networks for enriching patient care, optimising operational processes, and facilitating cutting-edge medical advancements.

At the same time, private 5G networks provide reliability, low latency, and extensive bandwidth, which is ideal for manufacturing plants with complex operations. Similarly, private 5G networks can streamline operations within transportation and logistics businesses by facilitating immediate tracking and oversight of vehicles, assets, and shipments.

Additionally, advancing technologies like AR, VR, autonomous vehicles, and more are being deployed across industries and sectors, whose potential can be untapped with advanced 5G connectivity. The strategic deployment of 5G technology, supported by robust infrastructure and security measures, is essential for businesses to unlock their full potential and drive innovation across various sectors.

Author: Ramesh Ramanathan, Principal Architect, Network Solutions & Services, CTO Office, Tata Elxsi