Private LTE will be a $16.3 billion opportunity by 2025 and the foundation for 5G services in end-vertical markets

Oyster Bay, New York - 21 Feb 2019: By 2025, the private Long-Term Evolution (LTE) market comprising of healthcare, transport and logistics, manufacturing, smart venues, smart cities, and oil and gas will be worth US$16.3 billion, according to ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies. With the future of Mobile Service Providers (MSPs) and network vendors to be defined beyond the consumer market to end-vertical enterprises, private LTE is set to be a key asset to create new revenue streams.

“A new understanding of spectrum usage, spearheaded by the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) activities in the United States, and increasing demand from industry verticals are the main drivers of private LTE,” said Pablo Tomasi, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “The United States is taking the lead in bypassing the issue of spectrum, which has been traditionally one of the roadblocks to private LTE expansion. The CBRS three-tier system provides 150 MHz of spectrum and most importantly, offers the ability for companies to acquire spectrum depending on their needs. Besides CBRS, other developments such as MulteFire and that countries are considering auctioning regional spectrum, show that this new spectrum paradigm has a global scale,” continued Tomasi.

The market will be worth US$16.3 billion by 2025 with the vertical of transport and logistics being the largest among those analyzed, representing 26.3% of the total market. The growth potential and the size of the market, where virtually every sector could benefit from private LTE deployments, mean that an increasing number of companies will be attracted to it. From existing specialized network vendors, such as Redline Communication, to global vendors such as Nokia, all vendors are betting on private LTE for growth. Not only vendors, but companies with diverse backgrounds including indoor wireless providers, such as Boingo Wireless, and web-scale players such as Amazon, are also being attracted to this market. Contrary to this market trend, with few notable exceptions such as Deutsche Telekom, MSPs are hesitant to fully commit to private LTE, which they see as a competitive threat to their core business and investments. MSPs are moving slower than the rest of the market, and if they do not start engaging with partners and taking a more central role in the delivering of private LTE solutions, they will miss this opportunity to enter the vertical market space. A deeper engagement of MSPs, would not only benefit the category but the wider market as a strong commitment from leading carriers will spur the growth of the whole ecosystem.

“The importance of Private LTE is not only in its revenue opportunity as the technology has also an additional value. The delivering of successful projects will show the reliability of cellular technology (and its ecosystem) and will ultimately pave the way for 5G in industrial markets,” concluded Tomasi.

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