Demand escalating for private mobile networks, GSA says

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The demand for private mobile networks based on 4G LTE and 5G technologies is being driven by the escalating security, digitisation and mobility requirements of modern enterprises and government entities.

That is according to the Private Mobile Networks – Market Status Update report from the GSA.

The report states that 74 countries globally have at least one private mobile network with manufacturing, education, device testing and lab as a service, and oil and gas leading the verticals with the highest growth based on 1,148 customer references in Q1 2023, up from 1,077 in Q4 2022.

In Q1 2023, GSA’s Private Mobile Networks ‘Special Interest Group’ members reported two-thirds of the customer references they provided are not reported elsewhere, making this program the most comprehensive PMN customer database globally.

Of the 1,148 referenced, LTE is used in 853 of the catalogued customers deploying private mobile networks for which GSA has data.

“Private mobile networks are often part of a broader digital transformation program, including cloud networking and advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, and data analytics. These networks increasingly utilise mobile connectivity to enhance their capabilities,” said Joe Barrett, president of the Global Mobile Suppliers Association.

“GSA data clearly shows that there is a considerable and diverse group of market participants who are actively involved in creating and providing solutions for private mobile networks. With a wealth of opportunities available and diverse regulatory strategies in place to facilitate LTE and 5G private usage, significant and promising progress in the market is clearly on the horizon over the next few years.

“Drawing on extensive unique and non-public data provided by the members of our Private Mobile Networks Special Interest Group, GSA will continue to track the development and expansion of deployments across all industries and regions.”

Private 5G is having a transcending impact across industries. The global private cellular network market will likely expand to US$6.32 billion by 2026 from $1.83 billion in 2021, according to research firm Frost and Sullivan.

This growth will be mainly spurred by private 5G – mobile networks that use the same technology as public 5G networks but allow their owners to provide priority access or require licences to access them.

5G is being deployed in 505, 48% of these customers, with a focus on long-term trials and deployments within educational and testbed/validation facilities.

Typically, there is a strong, positive correlation between the number of private mobile networks being deployed and the countries with dedicated spectrum.

The USA, Germany, China, the UK and Japan are the top five countries deploying private mobile networks worldwide.