Private networks: The real challenges are not what you think

Mathieu Lagrange et Boris Madeleine

Low latency is not the most important priority for private 5G

There are a lot of opinions supporting the need for low latency and high bit rates for private 5G. Well, it’s true that low latency and data capacities can be helpful in some ways, but we don’t think they should be the primary focus when talking about the benefits of private networks. Not least because these priorities are not aligned with B2B customers’ expectations!

Instead, we know that for customers, one of the most pressing priorities is around coverage, and being able to maximize it. Coverage needs to be reliable and expansive, covering Indoors outdoors, and generally everywhere. Equipping big outdoor surfaces with Wifi is expensive, sometimes eye-wateringly so. Private 5G is therefore a suitable solution to cover huge surfaces at a reasonable cost. The price is high amongst B2B customers’ priorities. The question of how can I reduce my CAPEX? never goes away.

For customers, one of the most pressing priorities is around coverage, and being able to maximize it.

Mathieu Lagrange Networks & Security Director, Obvios

Slicing is not essential for the first wave of private networks

Slicing (network configuration that enables multiple networks - virtualised and independent - to be created on top of a common physical infrastructure) is often - mistakenly - associated with quality of service.

Indeed, 5G networks natively embed all tools to configure and enforce quality of service policies for end user data flows. This means that the vast majority of industrial use-cases can now be realised without slicing.

On public networks, there can be value in deploying high value-added services on a temporary basis; for example, a railway communication service for SNCF in areas poorly-covered by the private 5G FRMCS SNCF network. But there are not many relevant applications, and the steps needed are very high in terms of complexity, and required maturity of the information systems. Especially since the slicing system should be able to enroll virtualised infrastructures and network functions from different equipment manufacturers, which is far from straightforward given the interoperability of systems is not yet a reality.

We are convinced that the best way to ensure cyber-security is to embed threat detections and remediation in the network software itself. 

Boris Madeleine Marketing & Sales Manager, Obvios

Security in private 5G

One of the most pressing priorities of private 5G network customers is around coverage and maximizing it. Security also remains one of the key priorities. Organisations have limited knowledge of 5G, and are worried about the potential pitfalls of poorly-managed and secured private networks. This understandably risk-averse mindset is blocking the widespread adoption of private 5G, and preventing private 5G’s benefits from being fully realised.

Yet we also know that when private 5G is securely deployed - as via Dome - customers benefit from the full range of encryption and authentication mechanisms which enables the highest level of security amongst all wireless technologies.

Compared to wired connections, 5G will also provide very stringent reliability features which make the wireless connection as robust as a cable. These features protect users against even the radio jammers, since it operates on a wide frequency range, with frequency-hopping features.

 At Obvios, we are convinced that the best way to ensure cyber-security is to embed threat detections and remediation in the network software itself, in order to guarantee efficiency and speed in the application of advanced response plans. When customers are aware of the high level of security offered by private 5G, they feel more comfortable deploying private networks, and can therefore take full advantage of its benefits.