Private Networks market to reach US$109 billion by 2030 – but the window of opportunity is closing

According to new research published by global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, the overall market for private networks within enterprise verticals will reach US$109 billion by 2030. This includes radio access network, edge & core deployments, as well as professional services revenues, which alone will contribute US$47 billion (44%) to the market size in 2030.

“These numbers essentially tell two stories,” explains Leo Gergs, Senior Analyst for Enterprise Connectivity and 5G Markets at ABI Research. “The first is that they illustrate the immense opportunity for cellular connectivity within enterprise verticals. The second is that the high percentage of professional services indicates that bringing 4G and 5G to enterprises requires significantly more than just providing a private network.” This is particularly true as the technology landscape within enterprises is particularly fragmented. “Enterprises have a plethora of connectivity technologies at hand – look at Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Zigbee for example. Expecting private cellular to emerge and knock off all these technologies at once will forever remain a sweet telco dream. The telco industry needs to wake up to reality and understand that this is not going to happen,” Gergs states.

Consequentially, the telco industry needs to carefully work out the role enterprise cellular within this abundance of enterprise connectivity technologies to work out their unique selling point. According to Gergs, “To put it bluntly, enterprises do not care whether they are deploying 4G, 5G, 6G or even non-cellular technologies on their site. What they are primarily concerned about is whether or not their specific pain points are addressed.” As such, the telco industry needs to move towards providing entire enterprise-grade solutions as a service – something that Chinese infrastructure vendors like Huawei and ZTE have been doing successfully for a while now.

It is important to realize that the telco industry must act sooner rather than later. Enterprises have been waiting for vitally important 5G capabilities like ultra-reliable low latency and massive machine-type communication for years. “So, they are understandably becoming growingly impatient,” Gergs points out.

The year 2022 will therefore be a crucial one for enterprise 5G. Gergs concludes, “We will either see the first steps away from trials, testbeds, PoC deployments by the end of the year, or the road for enterprise 5G will become increasingly difficult. A crucial step will be the emergence of enterprise-grade devices that address the key requirements to serve particularly mission- or even life-critical use cases.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s The Role of 5G for Enterprise ICT Transformation application analysis report. This research is part of the company’s 5G Markets research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Application Analysis reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and factors for a specific technology.

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