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Celona 2022 Predictions: 5 Things to Expect from the Private 5G Market in 2022

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

5 Things to Expect from the Private 5G Market in 2022

By Ozer Dondurmacioglu, VP, marketing, Celona

2021 was a wild one for the 5G market. It was kind of like a roller coaster; exciting and ultimately rewarding, but also filled with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Particularly for applications like private 5G, the markets became something of a battleground for a diverse set of competitors, each with their own business model and agenda. Even as this segment continues to evolve, we definitely gained enough insight to make the following prognostications for this burgeoning space.

The rise of 5G Network-as-a-Service will push enterprises to embrace Mobile Edge Computing (MEC)

Edge Computing as a distributed architecture certainly came into its own in 2021, but for the most part it remained in the realm of the telco and MSP. However, as 2022 comes around, we believe that capabilities provided by 5G managed services are going to push enterprises to reevaluate their approach to the edge. Specifically, enterprises will begin to take advantage of the lower-latency and high reliability this distributed architecture provides. The Industrial IoT, computer vision, robotics, AGVs, and other applications will be too productive and/or lucrative not to investigate further.

The "neutral host" model will become the "killer app" of private mobile networks

Neutral host models, unlike traditional models, allow multiple parties - both private and public - to use the same network that may be managed by a third-party MSP or the enterprise organizations themselves. Now, a single network can be shared among multiple parties to reduce costs and management overhead.

When you're looking to scale your cellular network to cover miles instead of meters, your project costs can balloon in size. However, by leveraging existing cellular networks as neutral hosts, wide-scale coverage for your service or private network becomes a lot easier.

Being independent of a specific cellular operator or network plan gives enterprises as well as end-users greater flexibility and functionality in places that were previously not possible. A neutral host network will enable multiple MNOs to extend their services - effectively eliminating the need for Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) that are operationally expensive and hard to maintain, to extend MNO public cellular coverage indoors.

This same principle is true when you look at different mobile operators trying to serve an overly crowded area, such as a shopping mall. Without a neutral host, each network operator will have to deploy their own equipment, resulting in higher all-around costs and energy consumption. This can lead to wasted space with duplicate equipment and higher noise on the spectrum.

The ability to support both LTE and 5G simultaneously will become a critical competitive differentiator as the industry transitions from one "G" to another.

This one is almost too obvious, but is easier to overlook than you might think. Despite the hype, supply chain issues and engineering challenges have prevented many true 5G radios from being deployed en masse. In addition, for many use cases LTE is still perfectly capable of fulfilling an enterprise's needs. In fact, it is very likely that enterprises will not want to move from a private LTE network to 5G immediately, but will transition over time as its network demands evolve. The service provider, MSP, or networking vendor that can enable that with the least amount of pain will have a significant advantage in the market.

The traditional enterprise IT channel will be the primary go-to-market model for private LTE/5G

We've been saying this since this market became a possibility; enterprises want to purchase and consume technology in the ways they are accustomed. For the enterprise, that means the still thriving and dominant enterprise channel model. These firms are already smelling blood in the water and the recent offerings from cloud vendors and MNOs have demonstrated that the demand is real. You can expect 2022 to see channel partners rush to build out their programs to meet their enterprise clients' private 5G needs.

Major telcos will attempt to make "network slicing" a thing for the enterprise, but fail due to the cost, security, and complexity of their approach

Network slicing represents one of the most compelling capabilities of 5G, and for the enterprise, the ability to share spectrum makes up a good chunk of the value of a private mobile network. Assigning devices, applications, users, groups, and areas different priorities via slices of bandwidth fits perfectly with most enterprises' policy-based infrastructure. The problem: a telco network can apply different slices to different enterprises connecting to its core network - but not among different application types and device groups within the same enterprise. They are simply not as sophisticated in their current approach to fully translate cellular wireless to existing enterprise network configuration and policies. It's our prediction that the requirement to better understand enterprise IT needs, combined with high costs put forward with current alternatives, will impact their future plans within this market.


We will have to check back in December 2022 to see if my prescience is accurate or not. No matter what happens, we're guaranteed to see a season of growth for private 5G in 2022. The board is set and the players are ready to compete. Who wins will be the competitors that map closely to these market trends.



Ozer Dondurmacioglu, VP, Marketing, Celona 

Ozer Dondurmacioglu 

Ozer is responsible for setting up the go-to-market efforts at Celona including business development and channel programs, marketing operations, technical and product marketing teams among other responsibilities in creating a community of advocates and discovering best channels of distribution. He comes to Celona after almost 15 years at Aruba/HPE.  

Published Tuesday, December 28, 2021 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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