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IDC predicts private LTE/5G infra market will reach $5.7 bn in 2024

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The research house says demand from mission-critical organisations is driving “early” investment at a CAGR of 43.4%.

A new report from International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts the market for private LTE/5G infrastructure from 2020 to 2024.

It forecasts worldwide revenue from sales of private LTE/5G infrastructure will grow from $945 million (777.7 million) in 2019 to an estimated $5.7 billion (4.69 billion) in 2024, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.4%.

This includes aggregated spending on RAN, core and transport infrastructure, and networks that use dedicated (licensed, unlicensed, or shared) spectrum and infrastructure, and private devices embedded with unique SIM identifiers.

Private LTE/5G infrastructure are defined by IDC as those that carry traffic native to a specific organisation and does not share resources with any third-parties.

Evolving cirumstances

"Private LTE infrastructure is already used by select verticals worldwide to solve mission-critical networking challenges. However, the barrier to consumption has remained high, limiting adoption to organizations possessing in-house competency and access to dedicated spectrum," said Patrick Filkins, Senior Research Analyst, IoT and Mobile Network Infrastructure, IDC.

"With more spectrum being made available for enterprise uses, coinciding with the arrival of commercial 5G, interest has grown toward using private LTE/5G solutions as a basis for connectivity across a multitude of mission-critical, industrial and traditional enterprise organizations."

Three main categories

Many organisations are deploying private LTE today, and a select few are beginning to deploy private 5G in certain instances. These verticals’ use cases and network needs typically overlap, but IDC categorises the market opportunity in three segments:
•    Mission-critical verticals that require always on connectivity addressable through redundancy and dedicated resource, as well as the clear need or desire for mobile site connectivity as loss of connectivity would likely result in significant negative business or operational outcomes.
•    Industrial verticals focusing on process and industrial automation for Industry 4.0, which generally involves high-capacity and ultra-reliable low-latency communication (5G URLLC) either with time-sensitive networking, or as an alternative.
•    Enterprise or business-critical verticals that need deterministic wireless networking beyond Wi-Fi, but whose redundancy and automation needs are lower. They include business critical applications, where loss of connectivity could result in loss of revenue.