Private 4G and 5G infrastructure market set to soar

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Global spending on private 4G and 5G infrastructure will surge from $1.7 billion in 2021 to $8.3 billion by 2026 – an annual growth rate of 35.7%.

A study by IDC says that growing awareness and emerging use cases for private cellular networks is driving the uptake, with 5G starting to become a factor in a market that is still driven by the LTE standard.

A private 4G or 5G network provides dedicated access to a specific customer, using either licensed, unlicensed or shared spectrum, with no resources shared by any third party.

Private 4G and 5G

By pursuing this route, customers can define the scale, pace of rollout, and technology used, while guaranteeing a certain level of performance for their applications.

Private networks can be built with or without the assistance of a traditional mobile operator, with many IT firms and telecoms equipment manufacturers now selling products and services directly to end users.

While many deployments are still in a trial of proof-of-concept phase, certain industries, such as manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics are already reaping the benefits. Private 5G will be an essential component of Industry 4.0 deployments, delivering ultrafast speeds, high capacity, and ultra-low latency.

Analysts say LTE will remain the dominant technology for the short-term, this early demand for private 5G demonstrates the potential of the market.

"Heightened demand for dedicated or private wireless solutions that can offer enhanced security, performance, and reliability continue to come to the fore as both current and future applications, particularly those in the industrial sector, require more from their network and edge infrastructure," said Patrick Filkins, research manager, IoT and Telecom Network Infrastructure.

"While private LTE/5G infrastructure continues to see more interest, the reality is 5G itself continues to evolve, and will evolve for the next several years. As such, many organizations are expected to invest in private 5G over the coming years as advances are made in 5G standards, general spectrum availability, and device readiness."

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.