Leading Lights 2020 Finalists: Private Wireless Network Strategy

Networks built for an individual campus or factory, managed separately from the operator’s public infrastructure, have been a big topic of industry discussion over the past year. In countries like Germany, decisions to reserve valuable spectrum for these deployments have made people talk even faster, infuriating telecom operators who claim these waves as theirs.

The permutations of private networks are apparently endless: networks managed by a telecommunications company on behalf of a company; networks built by vendors to keep the business running on its own; networks that use a company’s own spectrum; networks which lease frequencies from a service provider; networks that take a “slice” of the public system; networks that include a “core” in the factory premises. The list goes on, and with it the range of product opportunities for players targeting this market.

This year, five companies were shortlisted for the “Most Innovative Private Wireless Network Strategy”. They are:

The Leading Lights winners and the identities of this year’s Light Reading Hall of Fame inductees will be announced online, August 21, in a special video presentation at www.lightreading.com, one month before the start of the Big 5G event.

Here is an overview of the companies shortlisted in the most innovative private wireless network strategy:

Wireless Boingo ?? Host Neutral Private Network
Taking advantage of the release of spectrum by the United States in the CBRS band, Boingo hijacked its private neutral host network from the laboratory and placed it in the spotlight of commercial activity. The system was set up to supply private networks ?? based, of course, on the airwaves of CBRS ?? for large sites such as airports. Indeed, a number of them are already using the technology to meet the connectivity requirements.

Part of the beauty of it all is that clients don’t have to worry about capital intensive builds and backhaul requirements. All of this is taken care of by Boingo. Private networks can also be operated alongside licensed and unlicensed cellular and Wi-Fi networks in one location. Demand for the supply already appears to have been good: Boingo says it had its most successful year in its history in 2019, with record revenues, and continues to grow in 2020.

Celone ?? Celona Edge
Celona’s three-pronged attack on the private network space ticks some important boxes, providing radio access network (RAN), edge and orchestrator products to corporate customers. The RAN layer comes with 4G and 5G plug and play access points that terminate on the cloud-native Celona Edge, while the cloud-hosted orchestrator is configured to support traditional network operations as well as more sophisticated optimization based on artificial intelligence, says Célona. Customers also benefit from a network slicing offering that provides service guarantees for critical applications.

Celona claims to have invested considerable resources in new private network products, spending money on the development of RAN tools, microservices functionality and orchestrator software. In such a hot part of the telecommunications market, this should start to pay off quickly.

Wireless federated ?? Connectivity as a service
Offered as a managed service, Federated Wireless’ private network offering meets 4G and 5G business needs. The provider takes care of the installation and maintenance of the network and promises features such as support for mission-critical applications, compatibility with AWS and Azure cloud environments, and subscription fees.

The package also targets several key scenarios including manufacturing, warehousing and logistics parameters where shop floor automation, robotics and barcode reading are becoming increasingly important. Federated Wireless says it can support applications requiring low latency, thanks to its investments in advanced computing, and include ruggedized laptops and push-to-talk devices in any network so that communications critical issues are secure.

My future ?? Mavenir private networks
US-based Mavenir, one of the most active players in the open RAN community, has thrown his hat into the ring of private networks with a cloud-native software system that he says runs on devices for general purpose and, of course, is based on open RAN technology. The technology, above all, can operate “in isolation” from external systems, giving the customer physical ownership and control of all components installed on the premises.

Unsurprisingly as it may seem, the highlighting of open RAN features allows the Mavenir offering to stand out as an entry-level and could attract companies as concerned as operators with overdependence on large companies. providers such as Nokia, whose own entry into the private network market has bolstered the income of his start-up.

Nokia ?? Nokia industrial-grade private wireless solutions suite
One of the big beasts of the networking equipment market, Nokia owes its private networking business in part to the impressive growth of its Enterprise division throughout the coronavirus crisis, with sales up 19% over the years. first six months of the year. With around 180 large corporate customers deploying its private network technology, the Finnish provider made significant updates to its suite of private network services in November, which spurred its growth.

Suite is an apt description of what is a comprehensive offering aimed at organizations in the transportation, energy, manufacturing, public sector and market segments. For companies happy to leave all service management to Nokia or another partner, there is the Digital Automation Cloud service. For those who want more control, Nokia offers something called Modular Private Wireless, bringing a full core network to the local site. And in July, Nokia added a standalone 5G service that should appeal to customers looking for more advanced 5G capabilities.

?? Iain Morris, International Editor, Light Reading

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