The Rise of the Private Network

This event from the CW Virtual Networks SIG will look at the different levels of complexity involved with the building of 5G private networks, and the range of private network solutions that are available.

Before the internet existed, large enterprises ran their own communications systems all the way from their end-points up through their own connectivity backbone and into central mainframes. Over time, public and enterprise scale IP networks were built to allow enterprises to communicate securely and at scale. While this was much cheaper than privately owned networks it meant that one network had to fit all use cases, something which has become increasing more problematic as systems have become more complex, demanding, and mobile.

With the introduction of 5G, many different use cases became possible within a common standard, but a public network can only support the use cases which make economic sense. Along with the release of cost-effective spectrum, this has triggered a rapid increase in building local private cellular networks to supply features that are not supported by public networks; proving that innovative use cases and technology can deliver real-world benefits. These private networks, as the name suggests, also provide a higher degree of privacy to their users, as they control who can access the network and the data flowing through it, as well as helping to understand the resilience, redundancy and reliability requirements that have to be met in order to deliver an efficient network infrastructure. The drive to look at innovation in technology, services and applications also means that private networks are also being used to understand how virtualisation, edge computing and network slicing can be deployed in order to develop the right-fit network to deliver the desired outcomes. This can all happen without having to wait for public networks to ‘catch up’.

This event will look at the different levels of complexity involved with building 5G private networks and the roles that virtualisation, slicing and edge computing can perform in delivering the 'right-fit' network. We will also explore the range of private network solutions that are available, from on-premises hardware solutions up to a cloud-based solution provided by hyperscalers. In addition, this session will look at how the supply and value chains are being diversified as private networks evolve and new ecosystems are formed.

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