In the United States, private networks saw the sun for the first time in the early 1970s by AT&T. The networks were majorly operated over telecommunication networks. In the 1990s, with the evolution of Internet technology, a new type of network known as virtual private networks emerged. This type of network was built on public infrastructure, and the data was encrypted to protect it from eavesdroppers.
Nowadays, networks developed by businesses are called Enterprise Private Networks (EPN) when privacy is maintained via security processes and tunneling protocols such as Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol.
The objective of an EPN is to provide high-speed internet access and data sharing within an organization. Businesses can utilize Wi-Fi in their workplaces to share internet access and resources. This type of private network also employs routers
, switches, fiber optics, virtual devices, and modems. Security is also a significant factor while developing an enterprise network. Different firewalls are set at access points to ensure safe data transfer between systems.
Enterprise private networks can be built in various ways, including:
Virtual private network (VPN)
Local area network (LAN)
Wide area network (WAN)
Let’s dive deeper into EPN.
Enterprise Private Network: Reasons to Deploy It Today!
Giving its intended objective, enterprise private networks can be considered to provide a variety of conceivable benefits to an organization.
Enhancing Network Security
A company must adhere to strict procedures to safeguard its security. Networks are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and some business data contains sensitive information that might be lost or acquired by the wrong people. However, data circulation is critical to long-term business operations, which is why incorporating an enterprise private network is a wonderful way to keep security issues at bay even while allowing the organization to more easily manage its critical operations. This is a key reason why most businesses do not hesitate to use EPN, regardless of how difficult it is to set up or the upfront costs associated with it.
Keeping overheads to a minimum is critical for achieving a convincing ROI at the end of the day. Most businesses take stringent steps to ensure that they remain profitable. Cutting major expenditures is a helpful technique to do this, and the deployment of EPN is a perfect example. Because important business data can be exchanged over the network where key stakeholders can access it, the expense of physically transferring data and resources from one place to another is reduced. Moreover, a significant amount of valuable time is saved since any type of data and resources can be uploaded across the network in a matter of minutes.
Another important element that is essential to an organization's success is business continuity. Different departments of an organization are interconnected to one another through an enterprise private network and can effortlessly share resources with one another. As earlier stated, it enables time efficiency and allows companies to keep progressing toward gradually achieving their day-to-day demands.
Enterprise Private Network: A Catalyst to 5G Digital Transformation
Businesses now depend on technology that has undergone significant transformation in recent years. Organizations are increasingly relying on feature-rich apps to operate their operations and drive innovation. Connectivity is at the heart of keeping everything operating smoothly and effectively, and 5G is expected to provide even more pace and potential. 5G is enticing
because its infrastructure differs from prior generations of cellular networks. The 3G and 4G networks were designed with hardware-based network operations in mind. 5G, on the other hand, is 'cloud-native,' with network functions stored in software as a Virtual Network Function (VNF) or Cloud-native Network Function (CNF). 5G has the ability to drive digital transformation for companies and organizations by providing faster connection speeds, reduced latency, higher capacity, and better security. Organizations can obtain significant business advantages in automation, security, and safety when 5G is used in combination with a private cellular network.
The Importance of 5G on Private Networks
5G provides better bandwidth than 4G LTE networks, which is critical for data-intensive applications.
Robotics, manufacturing, remotely operated systems, and vehicle-to-vehicle communications all need low latency.
The 5G network core offers network slicing, allowing network operators to virtualize network traffic, often in a cloud-based flexible environment.
Increased Connection Density
5G will ultimately support 100 times more connected devices per square kilometer, up to one million devices.
Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC)
5G Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) moves computational power closer to the network edge, reducing the time required to send data to a centralized data center.
While 5G has considerable benefits over Wi-Fi
, the new Wi-Fi 6 version also has greater capacity, reduced latency, and faster speeds than its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5.
Industries Leveraging EPN to Enhance Their Capabilities
With the expanding digital transformation, business interest in private networks is growing. Enterprises can deploy such networks to explore a broad range of wireless use cases and provide access to areas that are not covered by a public network. These networks can also be customized to meet the needs of certain industries and businesses. With the arrival of 5G, private networks enabled by the technology are positioned to stimulate innovation and allow next-generation enterprise transformation across a wide range of industries. Industries leveraging 5G-enabled enterprise private networks are:
Healthcare tops the list of rapidly growing industries, requiring private networks. The unprecedented burden caused on healthcare systems worldwide by the COVID-19 pandemic has driven the need for improved connectivity and modernization of infrastructure, prompting hospitals to establish private networks.
The manufacturing industry is undergoing a significant digital transformation, which is enabling various new use cases like automated manufacturing. In the industrial arena, private 5G networks play a critical role in increasing the density and efficiency of automation technologies like collaborative mobile robots, automated guided vehicles, AR predictive maintenance, and virtual reality remote devices.
By reducing the reliance on third-party wireless service providers, private 5G networks enable these establishments to build and install the infrastructure most suited to their digital transformation roadmap.
Another high-potential use case for private 5G networks is the logistics industry. With increasing global e-commerce adoption, the continuous movement of products through all logistical checkpoints—including warehouses, ports, and distribution centers—must be monitored and linked through a diverse variety of corporate mobility devices.
Another industry with significant potential for private 5G networks is mining. Mine operators want dependable wireless connections in order to leverage digital technologies, but they are often unable to introduce wireless communications to underground locations while still meeting the essential connectivity demands of machinery and mobile employees in open-pit locations. Private networks, which have fewer access points than Wi-Fi, can overcome these difficulties by providing a stable and widespread internet connection to machines, vehicles, and workers throughout a mine. This leads to improved safety, increased production, and a lower carbon footprint.
Some of the other industries are Oil and gas, Education, Ports, Smart Cities, etc.
Rising Demand for Enterprise Private Network (EPN)
As per research analyst Leo Gergs from ABI Research, there are a couple of factors that are causing the surge in demand for private networks for enterprises. These factors are:
Rise in demand for automation and enterprise digitalization in every sector of the market, including industrial manufacturing, logistics, oil and gas, etc., because of COVID-19.
The private 5G network has arrived, bringing with it irresistible features and use cases for businesses from all industries.
Private networks depend on technology from both public carrier networks and business IT, bringing together two disciplines that had previously evolved in quite distinct directions. Industry digitalization, the convergence of telecom and IT, edge migration of cloud apps, and increased spectrum availability are all combined to set the scenario for exploding demand for private 5G. A private 5G network is an enterprise-specific network that offers communication connections to people or items belonging to a single company as well as unique services required for the enterprise's operations. Enterprises across sectors are crunching the math on private 5G, from factories to farms to hospitals to hotels.
According to ABI Research, heavy industrial verticals will increase demand for private network installations. Industrial manufacturing and energy production (including mining, oil and gas, and logistics) will contribute $32.38 billion in private network revenues by 2030, accounting for half of the $64 billion in total private network revenues. The need for private 5G networks is increasing as 5G arrives, allowing compelling business use cases and favorable legislative developments on spectrum availability for corporations. TBR projected that the market for private 5G networks would reach $7.5 billion by 2025, rising from $200 million in 2020.
Carving the Future
With every new cutting-edge technology comes a leap of faith. Businesses and industries can expedite their digital journeys by using 5G private networks to offer secure connections while gathering and managing huge amounts of business-critical data. Private 5G is not simply a new paradigm for network operators; it's also an incredible opportunity for public and private organizations to unleash efficiency, exploit real-time data, and boost revenue.
How Does Enterprise Private Network Work?
An enterprise private network is a business computer network that allows business organizations with several offices to securely connect to each other through a network. The primary purpose of an enterprise private network is to share system resources.
How to Set Up Your Private 5G Network?
To build a private 5G network, businesses need to:
The first step is to get the spectrum right-to-use.
Acquire 5G equipment such as base stations, mini-towers, and small cells from network equipment or infrastructure providers.
Integrate equipment with edge devices like smartphones, routers, sensors, etc.
What Is the Cost of Building a 5G Network?
A modest tower and 5G cell site will cost between $30,000 and $50,000. If the wireless network is to function during a power failure, the cell site will also need commercial power and batteries.