Complex Made Simple

What’s new with private 5G and why do we need it in the Middle East?

Private 5G networks is a wireless local area network (LAN) that uses 5G-enabled technologies to create a network with dedicated bandwidth and infrastructure. Why do we need that in this region?

Regionally, the Middle East prepared for 5G faster than other regions globally 5G has been forecast to reach 80 million subscriptions in the MENA by 2025 5G small cells, 5G core, and multi-access edge computing (MEC) can all be on-site

An AMEinfo exclusive

It is expected that by 2025, 5G connectivity will account for 20% of all mobile connections. Regionally, the Middle East prepared for 5G faster than other regions globally, with mobile 5G commercially launching mid-2019 and in 2018 for fixed wireless services. In 2019, the UAE was ranked first among the Arab countries and fourth globally in launching and deploying 5G networks. Moreover, 5G network speeds in the UAE are among the fastest in the world.

Private 5G networks is a wireless local area network (LAN) that uses 5G-enabled technologies to create a network with dedicated bandwidth and infrastructure that meets a company’s specific connectivity needs.

Presently, over 69 countries have deployed 5G commercially, while 500 private 5G/LTE networks have been implemented—a number that is growing rapidly.

In an exclusive interview with Gaurav Mohan, VP Sales, SAARC & Middle East, NETSCOUT, we asked:

1- Why do we need private 5G in the Middle East?

In short, 5G is to businesses what 4G/3G mobile networks are to consumers. Enterprises will deploy 5G as a complementary solution in areas where there is a need for broader coverage, more mobility, or where device density or signal interference is an issue. Indeed, WiFi and cable replacement is a fast-growing category because of 5G’s relative cost, flexibility, quality of service, and strong security capabilities.

Private 5G also enables new opportunities for remote control in construction and for related autonomous vehicles, driving the reinvention of business models that have been static for decades. For example, utilities are building private 5G networks with smart meters and wireless sensors that protect their electric grids, or transmission towers that double as weather towers with live stream video. There are also 5G-driven productivity gains, such as enabling AR/VR usage for field technicians.

5G has been forecast to reach 80 million subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by 2025, accounting for 10% of the total mobile subscriptions. 5G remains a priority in the Middle East due to the endless economic possibilities it offers organizations in the region. For example, real-time remote monitoring and surveillance are extremely useful in the oil and gas industry, and the ability to deliver specialists virtually anywhere is very convenient in healthcare, education, and engineering.

2- What makes private 5G different?

The key enabling technologies of 5G are Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (URLLC), Enhanced Mobile Broadband (EMBB), and Massive IoT (MIoT).

A private 5G network offers organizations the control and reliability they will need for certain mission-critical activities, along with seamless integration across their existing systems. Private 5G also reduces cyber threats by limiting exposure to public interfaces.

With potential speeds of up to 20Gbps, 5G will meet all-new demands from consumers, citizens, workers, hospital patients, etc.

Another key to private 5G business enablement is network slicing, which enables 5G LANs or WANs,  creating a true multi-tenant network.

3- How flexible are private 5G networks?

There are many potential deployment scenarios and permutations for enterprise 5G, but they all fall into either a private or public category. For example, suppose an enterprise needs guaranteed quality of service and exceptional data privacy and security. In that case, they may opt for a completely private on-site design, leasing an unlicensed or licensed spectrum from a mobile operator. The 5G small cells, 5G core, and multi-access edge computing (MEC) can all be on-site. If they have the knowledge and expertise, companies can choose to build and manage the network in-house, or they can partner with a systems integrator, network equipment provider, or mobile operator.

On the other hand, enterprises that need lower-cost 5G solutions that are quickly operational and deliver low latency and good security can opt for a hybrid approach that uses 5G network slicing to leverage the mobile operator’s RAN or the entire mobile operator network. They can still leverage small cells on-premises for coverage, while the edge/MEC could be on-premises, hosted, or in the cloud.

While 5G network slicing is still in its infancy, communication service providers are likely starting with a handful of fixed slices for applications that require URLL and EMBB, massive IoT, gaming, and video. But in a few years, network slices will be orchestrated in near real-time down to the individual enterprise level. If successful, 5G slices may eventually be as common as network domain names. It’s also possible to achieve many of the same goals of 5G slicing now, through a distributed small cell or Open RAN architecture, which is less complicated than network slicing.

There are many 5G private network deployment options to fit virtually every application, budget, operational skillset, and data security requirements.