What Is Private 5G and How Can It Significantly Benefit Edge & IoT?
Internet of Things (IoT)
Vishnu Narayan May 16, 2024

What Is Private 5G and How Can It Significantly Benefit Edge & IoT?

Private 5G, fueled by 5G New Radio, gives priority access based on quality of service, unlike public 5G networks. This means it’s like having a VIP lane for your data. Imagine how this can supercharge industries like healthcare, smart cities, energy sectors, transportation, and more!

On top of all, it offers a secure, lightning-fast, and reliable network, making it a game-changer for digital transformation in these sectors. How does that sound? Pretty exciting, isn’t it?

In this article, we’ll explore more about private 5G, also known as enterprise 5G or non-public 5G, and how private 5G networks are revolutionizing IoT and edge computing. Let’s dive in.

What exactly is private 5G?

A private 5G network is a mobile network that operates similarly to a public 5G network. However, the owner can restrict access and use licensed or unlicensed wireless spectrum. Essentially, private 5G leverages the advantages of traditional 5G in an enclosed facility such as a manufacturing plant, port, airport, campus, or business park.

We can also call it an alternative to Wi-Fi, along with other wireless options, like public Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and public 5G. In layman’s terms, Private 5G networks are like VIP sections at events. They’re set up in places like factories or campuses where regular Wi-Fi doesn’t work well. Just as VIP sections offer a better experience at events, private 5G networks give a stronger and more customized connection for those places.

Here’s a brief example for better understanding:

Think of a busy factory where everything needs to be connected, from machines on the production line to autonomous vehicles zipping around outside. Private 5G makes sure they all stay linked up smoothly. Plus, it’s flexible, so as the factory layout changes, you don’t have to deal with a bunch of muddled rewiring. It’s like giving industrial settings their own supercharged Wi-Fi network, customized for their needs.What exactly is private 5G?

How does private 5G work?

Private 5G networks give organizations exclusive control over their connectivity, and there are four different ways to set them up:

① Fully Owned Private Networks: You own all the equipment and manage the network yourself.

② Hybrid Private Networks: You rent some equipment and use cloud services for parts of the network.

③ Sliced Private Networks: Your network is divided into sections, each serving different purposes.

④ Private 5G as-a-Service: You partner with vendors who handle everything from setup to scaling.

Previously, setting up private cellular networks was too pricey due to licensing and equipment costs. However, things changed in 2015 with the introduction of CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). CBRS is actually a chunk of spectrum spanning from 3,550 MHz to 3,700 MHz.

CBRS operates on a three-tier priority system:

➛ Incumbent Access: Reserved for government and satellite installations.

➛ Priority Access: This is for purchased and reserved channel access.

➛ General Authorized Access (GAA): Unlicensed and free to use where available.

How do private 5G networks simplify enterprise connectivity?

Private 5G networks for enterprises mostly utilize the GAA tier. This makes it easier and cheaper for organizations to get spectrum, removing a major hurdle that once held back private cellular networks.

However, with CBRS in action, both established 5G equipment vendors and startups have zeroed in on enterprise-private 5G solutions. They’ve tailored their technology and hardware to suit the needs of private 5G networks, making them simpler to set up and run compared to those of big carriers. This streamlined approach translates to lower setup and running costs, making private cellular networks a feasible option for private ownership.

Moreover, Private 5G networks function the same as public ones, covering low, mid, and millimeter wave bands for connectivity. However, to connect to a private 5G network, devices need to be cellular-capable and use physical SIMs or embedded SIMs, giving operators tight control over who can access the network.

Usually, a private 5G network links up with a company’s LAN, similar to Wi-Fi. As a result, once connected, devices on the network can communicate with each other and with other IP-connected gadgets on the LAN or wider network.

Enterprise 5G Network Architecture

What are the key features of 5G and private 5G industry traction?

Today, 5G brings many capabilities, such as fast broadband, reliable communication, and connectivity for countless devices. It’s not just about faster internet on your phone; it’s about revolutionizing industries like healthcare, logistics, and manufacturing with technologies like Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC).

With 5G Release 16, URLLC introduces time-sensitive networking (TSN), making IoT applications in industries like healthcare and logistics more dependable and responsive. Plus, features like service orchestration and management add extra value.

On the brighter side, privately managed 5G networks offer simplicity and affordability thanks to streamlined solutions from vendors. Setup, including access points and system control, is now much easier. Compared to enterprise Wi-Fi, private 5G requires less hardware and offers consistent performance, low latency, and faster speeds, all with lower power consumption. Therefore, it’s indeed a game-changer for businesses in this digital age we’re living in.

A few examples of IoT, edge computing over private 5G

Here are examples showcasing the benefits of combining IoT and edge computing over private 5G:

1. Industrial use case

Enterprise 5G Industrial Use Case

  • In an industrial setting, cameras deployed along a production line can utilize edge computing powered by private 5G for defect detection.
  • The cameras, equipped with AI/computer vision models, can efficiently detect defects in real time.
  • The edge cluster allows for running complex, compute-intensive models, enhancing defect detection accuracy. With Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), real-time decisions can be swiftly communicated to remove defective objects, potentially via synchronized robots.
  • Additionally, autonomous mobile robots equipped with cameras can leverage edge computing for navigation tasks, with advanced AI models running on the edge infrastructure to detect and manage inventory.

2. Healthcare use case

Enterprise 5G Healthcare Use Cases

  • In healthcare, a hospital equipped with a private 5G network can benefit from connected care through the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).
  • Continuous patient monitoring becomes feasible, with various health sensors transmitting high-frequency sensor streams to healthcare teams in real-time via an IoT platform.
  • Moreover, private 5G facilitates rapid file transfers between critical equipment such as MRI and CT machines within the hospital. This capability is particularly crucial in emergencies where timely access to diagnostic imaging results can significantly impact patient care decisions.

What are the other real-life use cases of private 5G?

Private 5G isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a game-changer across many fields! Let’s break it down:

What are the real-life use cases of enterprise 5G or non-public 5G?

🔹Manufacturing: Private 5G keeps factories running smoothly by connecting machines and sensors, automating tasks, and ensuring everything works seamlessly.

🔹Healthcare: In hospitals, Private 5G acts as a speedy messenger, connecting devices to transfer patient info quickly and securely.

🔹Smart Buildings: It’s like having a personal assistant for buildings, making them smarter and safer by connecting devices for efficient management and security.

🔹Education: Schools get a technology boost with Private 5G, providing fast and reliable connectivity for online classes and campus security systems.

🔹Smart Cities: Enterprise 5G also helps cities run smoother, connecting IoT devices for efficient city management, from traffic lights to trash collection.

🔹City Connectivity: Even in busy places, enterprise 5G keeps everyone connected, including emergency crews, for fast and reliable communication.

🔹Entertainment Venues: Enterprise 5G ensures high-speed internet connectivity at events, so you can share all the fun moments without any interruptions.

🔹Logistics:  Enterprise 5G speeds up deliveries by tracking packages and guiding vehicles, enabling real-time coordination of logistics operations.

🔹Mining:  Enterprise 5G keeps miners safe by alerting them to dangers and helping vehicles navigate underground with low-latency communication.

What are the key benefits of private 5G?

Enterprise 5G offers the following benefits:

✔️Secure access via SIM-based controls and encrypted network slices

✔️Quality of service (QoS) controls tailored to individual applications

✔️Seamless handoffs between access points for improved mobility

✔️Comparable speed, throughput, and latency to the latest Wi-Fi standards

✔️Low-power compatibility with battery-operated endpoints

✔️Mass connectivity on a per-access point basis

✔️Significant advancements in range and coverage when compared to Wi-Fi

✔️Enhanced security with stronger encryption, authentication, and network slicing

✔️Greater organizational control over network infrastructure, security, and coverage

When considering these advantages, organizations should prioritize factors such as control, reliability, and mobility.

What are the major drawbacks of private 5G?

The drawbacks of non-public or enterprise 5G include:

High setup and maintenance costs may be unaffordable for smaller organizations.

More expertise is required for setup, development, and ongoing maintenance.

Consistent maintenance and updates can be challenging.

Regulatory hurdles may arise due to spectrum allocation regulations in certain regions.

What are the key differences between a private 5G and a public 5G?

What are the key differences between a enterprise 5G and a public 5G?

The major difference between public and non-public 5G networks is who owns them. Private networks belong to individual businesses, giving them more control and security. They also tend to work better because businesses can set them up where they need them. 

On the other hand, public networks are like open parks where everyone can go, while private networks are like fenced gardens with restricted access to privacy. When businesses need to connect lots of devices like smartphones, tablets, or sensors to 5G, they usually have to pay a lot to public carriers. However, as they add more devices, it gets really expensive.

In contrast, enterprise 5G networks are cheaper for big projects. Businesses usually pay public carriers to use their 5G networks, which can get really expensive, especially for big projects. However, with enterprise 5G networks, businesses build and manage their own, which ends up being cheaper and easier to expand.

What are the key differences between private 5G and Wi-Fi?

What are the key differences between enterprise 5G and Wi-Fi?

Enterprise 5G and Wi-Fi are often compared as potential alternatives, but they have distinct differences useful for specific deployments:

► Coverage: Enterprise 5G can cover the same area with fewer access points (APs) due to its higher transmission power, around five to 10 times higher than Wi-Fi.

► Handoff: Enterprise 5G enables seamless roaming between APs with no data loss using a soft handoff mechanism, unlike Wi-Fi, which may experience connection breaks during handoffs.

► Capacity: A single enterprise 5G AP can handle more active connections than Wi-Fi, enhancing its scalability.

► Network Slicing: Enterprise 5G offers network slicing capabilities, ensuring better speed, throughput, and Quality of Service (QoS) control on a per-application basis, which Wi-Fi lacks.

► Interference: Enterprise 5G operates in CBRS, reducing susceptibility to external interference compared to unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum.

► Latency and Throughput: While Wi-Fi 6E standards may offer slightly better latency and throughput, in most cases, enterprise 5G offers comparable performance.

Overall, enterprise 5G complements Wi-Fi rather than replacing it. It’s typically deployed where Wi-Fi struggles, offering enhanced reliability and performance for specific use cases.

What’s the future of IoT and private 5G?

Today, private 5G is helping drive Industry 4.0. Public 5G networks are already widespread in countries like the US, China, and South Korea. But tailored enterprise 5G networks for businesses, like those in manufacturing, are growing fast. Reports by Venture Beat say over 75% of manufacturers in Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US could have enterprise 5G or non-public 5G by 2024.

Also, private 5G could become the new standard for business wireless. As more devices support it, expect big deployments. IDC predicts private LTE/5G sales will hit $5.7 billion by the end of 2024, growing at 43.4% CAGR.

Frequently asked questions

What are the major benefits of a private 5G network?

Benefits of a private 5G network include secure access, tailored quality of service, seamless mobility, improved coverage and range, enhanced security, and organizational control.

What are the benefits of private 5G and IoT?

The benefits of 5G and IoT include fast broadband, reliable communication, connectivity for countless devices, improved efficiency and automation, enhanced customer experiences, and innovative services.

What are the benefits of 5G edge computing?

The benefits of 5G edge computing include low latency, real-time processing, efficient data handling, improved application performance, enhanced security, and support for time-sensitive applications.

How big is the private 5G market?

With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 49.7%, the global private 5G network market is expected to reach approximately USD 41.80 billion by 2030.

Which is faster, 5G or Wi-Fi?

In real-world scenarios, 5G is generally faster than Wi-Fi, offering higher speeds and lower latency due to its advanced technology and dedicated infrastructure, especially in densely populated areas where Wi-Fi networks may become congested. In controlled environments, 5G theoretically reaches up to 20 Gbps, while Wi-Fi 6 can achieve speeds of up to 9.6 Gbps.

The bottom line

To ensure success with private 5G, IoT, and edge technologies, a clear roadmap for ongoing maintenance and enhancements is essential.

Managing private 5G and IoT systems can be complex, involving various components like sensors, robots, infrastructure, and software.

At ThinkPalm, we specialize in tailored IoT services designed to fit your business perfectly. We simplify the process by acting as your single point of contact, collaborating closely with vendors and your IT team to integrate, deploy, and manage IoT solutions on private 5G networks.

While starting is simple, creating a fully functional system that meets your needs takes time and effort. With our expertise, your IoT solutions will run smoothly.

Focus on the key areas where IoT can make a difference, and let ThinkPalm handle the rest. Contact us today to discover how our end-to-end IoT services can benefit your business.

Ready to supercharge your business with the transformative power of enterprise 5G and IoT?


Author Bio

Vishnu Narayan is a dedicated content writer and a skilled copywriter working at ThinkPalm Technologies. More than a passionate writer, he is a tech enthusiast and an avid reader who seamlessly blends creativity with technical expertise. A wanderer at heart, he tries to roam the world with a heart that longs to watch more sunsets than Netflix!