A private cellular network (what the 3GPP standards refer to as a “non-public network”) is an isolated network that restricts the devices that connect to it. Public cellular networks initially carried primarily voice traffic, but data traffic now dominates these networks. This includes internet access and an ever-increasing percentage of video traffic. The focus of private cellular networks is predominantly on data traffic, and competing network technologies are generally data networks as well. The market for private cellular networks is relatively new and includes both 4G and 5G networks.
At this point in time, this market is focused on large enterprises in a select group of industry verticals, but Frost & Sullivan thinks that in time the market will expand to both smaller businesses and more verticals. Building and operating a private cellular network obviously involves some expense, and there are competing network technologies. So why would an enterprise decide to utilize a private 4G or 5G network? Before answering that question, a quick overview of 5G and the disruptive technologies that make it possible will provide the background.
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