Is 5G a good choice for Private Networks?

  • My friend: Hi Ibrahim, I have a question for you.

    • Me: Please, go ahead.
  • My friend: I was wondering if 5G a good solution to be used in private networks instead of WiFi for example?

    • Me: Actually, private networks are using WiFi as it is cheaper, easy solution in installation and deployment, also its spectrum is free which can be used by anyone. However, WiFi has limited features required for new services applicable for smart factories, smart cities, and autonomous vehicles. For instance, WiFi does not satisfy the low latency required by autonomous vehicles. Moreover, WiFi does not support massive Internet of Things (IoT) services due to the limited no. of connected devices at a time. Also, WiFi does not ensure the level of security required by enterprises. And lastly, it has limited mobility and coverage capabilities.
  • My friend: So, does 5G overcome the limitations in WiFi?

    • Me: Yes, this is the strength of 5G in private networks. So, 5G technology provides URLLC features to transmit responses with very low latency which will help a lot in industrial automation tasks. Also, 5G provides the mMTC features that make possible communication with 1 million devices/km2. Therefore, 5G network can support the service requirements needed by a smart city or smart factory which demand communication with a massive number of devices and machines simultaneously. Another point of 5G is the eMBB which makes it possible to transfer huge data. Also, 5G ensures the stringent enterprise security requirement as 5G network authenticates the device with the SIM or eSIM, and it provides the enterprise with a secure connection using a licensed or protected spectrum. Also, in terms of frequency spectrum, it was big hurdle to build the private network due to frequency license. However, 5G offers shared and dedicated spectrum for enterprises, and so it is possible to deploy own network by enterprise itself. Lastly, 5G is having better coverage and mobility.
  • My friend: So, that means 5G will replace WiFi in private networks?

    • Me: No. Actually, each of them will have a role to do. As WiFi is good and low-cost solution for typical small and office networks which require local coverage only, while 5G is more suited for big enterprises which require more restricted requirement on mobility, latency, security, reliability, flexibility, coverage, and capacity. Even, both 5G and WiFi can be used simultaneously when for example autonomous vehicle is using the 5G cellular network while at the same time, we offer in-vehicle Wi-Fi service for users’ smartphones, tablets, or any other devices. So, each enterprise should determine its requirements to select the best choice to use in its private network.
  • My friend: Thank you very much. You made it very clear.

    • Me: You are most welcome.

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