Telstra taps 5G SA for enterprise service surge

Yanitsa Boyadzhieva
By Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Sep 2, 2022

  • Telcos and vendors alike have their eyes on the enterprise services prize
  • Telstra has teamed up with Ericsson to exploit the potential of 5G standalone (SA) platforms
  • Nokia is working with AT&T in Mexico to deliver 5G and LTE private networks
  • While in South Korea, Samsung has landed a major government contract

With potentially lucrative 5G-enabled enterprise contracts up for grabs, major telcos and their big-name vendor partners, either in partnership or flying solo, have been striking partnerships and deals aimed at exploiting the revenue potential of private wireless network deployments. 

In Australia, Telstra has teamed up with its best vendor buddy Ericsson to unveil a suite of 5G standalone (SA) platform-enabled automated and orchestrated services targeting the enterprise sector. The companies claimed a world-first in deploying a “fully automated” 5G network slicing service orchestration capability in the telco’s commercial network.

According to Ericsson, this capability allows Telstra to offer “new differentiated services that have the potential ability to deliver assured network characteristics such as throughput, latency and resilience” to enterprises that are digitising their operations.

In an “Australian-first”, the telco has also deployed Ericsson’s Local Packet Gateway in its commercial 5G network to show how businesses can reap the benefits from higher bandwidth, low latency and data localisation. To show what is possible with the gateway’s capabilities, the partners demonstrated how a car could be controlled  remotely using a mobile video feed.

The Swedish vendor suggested that data localisation lets customers make use of edge computing in virtual and hybrid 5G private network environments, making best use of the “efficient use” of bandwidth, security of data, low latency and “a more efficient network overall”.

“In the past it took a long time to deploy and scale new service constructs in our network. Now, with 5G’s service-based architecture combined with automation via network orchestration, we are able to work with our customers to imagine and deploy new differentiated services quickly and scale them economically”, commented Shailin Sehgal, executive of product enablement technology at Telstra.

In another recent development, AT&T Mexico partnered with Finnish vendor Nokia to deploy an industrial-grade 4G private network solution at a port terminal in the Mexican state of Yucatán. The service uses 4.9G LTE to deliver “pervasive” high-bandwidth and low-latency connectivity, and to enhance network predictability in piers and yards. Expectations are that the solution will connect hundreds of staff, sensors, equipment and vehicles spanning across an area of 11.5 hectares. Going forward, Nokia sees potential in other use cases, such as remote and autonomous crane operations at piers and yards.

AT&T Mexico’s innovation and IoT director, Gabriel Fernández, explained that this is the first private cellular network for its business unit, and the company is upgrading itself as customer demands evolve. “Private networks are increasingly important for businesses – especially in Industry 4.0 environments with a lot of connected devices, where privacy, data control and performance are all crucial”, Fernández added.

And earlier this week, South Korean vendor Samsung landed a plum private 5G gig in its home market of South Korea, where it has been chosen to provide a range of 5G solutions to five government agencies and private institutions. For more on that deal, see What’s up with… Samsung, UK network security, comms regulation in India.

These are only a few of recent moves showing a trend towards increased private network deployments to address enterprise needs. And the tendency is not set to stop anytime soon: The global market for private LTE and 5G wireless infrastructure is forecast by IDC to grow almost fourfold during the next five years and be worth a whopping $8.3 billion in 2026 – see Private networks sector set for stellar growth, to hit $8 billion by 2026: IDC.

- Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor, TelecomTV

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