Cost remains a barrier for private 5G
Cost remains one of the major barriers preventing the widespread adoption of private 5G networks according to Maria Lema, co-founder of Weaver Labs.
Lema joined Mikael Schachne, VP for the telco market at BICS as a panellist at Capacity Europe’s fireside chat: Private 5G – the small window of opportunity.
The panel was led by Darius Singh, principal consultant and digital health lead at STL partners.
The global private cellular market will likely expand to US$6.32 billion by 2026 from US$1.83 billion in 2021 according to research firm Frost and Sullivan.
Yet the cost attached to private 5G networks and convincing customers to pay large amounts to replace existing infrastructure is still a problem according to Lema.
“It is very difficult to convince a customer to go for a Nokia or Ericsson 5G network to replace their WiFi for an ethernet based private network,” she said.
Singh began the chat by asking how the industry could accelerate the private 5G market and Schachne thinks there are still use cases that need to be built in order to demonstrate the potential of private 5G networks.
“There is a long way to learn from all the applications that we need and then to develop those into specific use cases, but there is big demand,” he said.
Contrary to the title of the fireside chat, Schachne actually believes that the window of opportunity is not as small as some in the industry may think.
Singh asked the panellists if Open RAN could be a real accelerator for private networks, given that a more open standard may lead to lowering costs of private networks.
“My experience with Open RAN has been horrible,” Lema said to a few laughs in the audience.
However, she acknowledges that we are in the very early stages of Open RAN and are yet to discover the benefits that it could provide to the industry and more specifically to private networks.
“It is going to lower the cost and it is going to help us in that transition towards software base networks,” she added.
“I’m happy we have worked with Open RAN early on and we are bringing that skillset into our customer base because I am a huge supporter of open networks and interfaces and supply chain diversification.”
Read more about the transcending impact of private 5G here.