Should telcos even bother with the private 5G networks opportunity?

Ray Le Maistre
By Ray Le Maistre

Dec 7, 2021

  • Enterprises seem keen on having their own 5G private networks
  • Vendors such as Nokia and Ericsson are already engaged with hundreds of prospects
  • But will it ever be much more than a niche opportunity?
  • And are mobile network operators suited to capitalize anyway?
  • This is one of the topics to be discussed during this year's Great Telco Debate

Just how big is the private 5G networks opportunity? Will it be lucrative or just a niche slither of the broader digital enterprise technology sector? And do mobile operators have the chance to play a significant role in private 5G? Should they even bother trying?

These are just some of the questions to be considered during the Private 5G session that is part of this year’s Great Telco Debate, which runs from 8-10 December on TelecomTV.

The Private 5G debate will be held at 17:00 GMT / 18:00 CET / 12:00 EST on Wednesday 8 December (right after the Open Telco Infra debate), with expert witnesses from Cellnex, Colt, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Nokia, SoftBank, VMware and Vodafone Business. 

They will debate the motion, “Private 5G is a minority component of Industry 4.0 and offers limited opportunities for CSPs”, before answering questions from those who have registered for the Great Telco Debate (it is quick, easy and free – you can do it right here).

What do you think? Join us for the discussion, vote for or against the motion and send in your questions!

It’s already apparent that some operators see a real business opportunity in the private 5G network sector – Verizon Business, for example – but early market evidence suggests that when they are involved, quite often it is as a supporting act rather than as the project lead.

And according to the team at Juniper Research, mobile network operators are some way behind their vendor partners in being able to deliver what enterprises need for their private wireless networks: Nokia, Ericsson, Druid Software, Telit and Celona are the vendors leading the way in the overall private wireless networks sector, with Nokia boasting during its third quarter earnings presentation that it has more than 380 private network deals already under its belt.    

So should the mobile operators focus time, effort and money into the private 5G networks market? Let’s find out what our expert witnesses have to say on 8 December (and if you can’t watch the live session at the time, watch out for the on-demand replay).


- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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