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Revenue from global sales of private 5G infrastructure to hit $5.7 billion in 2024

16 Jan 2021

Global revenue derived from sales of private LTE/5G infrastructure will reach $5.7 billion in 2024, growing from just $945 million in 2019, according to IDC’s inaugural forecast for such statistics, with a five-year CAGR of 43.4%.

IDC defines private LTE/5G infrastructure as any 3GPP-based LTE or 5G network deployed for a specific enterprise/industrial customer that provides dedicated access. It includes networks that may utilise a dedicated spectrum, dedicated infrastructure, and private devices embedded with unique SIM identifiers. 

Such infrastructure carries traffic native to a specific organisation, with no shared resources in use by any third-party entities, IDC says. 

"Private LTE infrastructure is already used by select verticals worldwide to solve mission-critical networking challenges," says IDC senior research analyst for IoT and mobile network infrastructure Patrick Filkins.

"However, the barrier to consumption has remained high, limiting adoption to organisations possessing in-house competency and access to dedicated spectrum.

"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 organisations."

IDC says the market opportunity for organisations deploying private LTE infrastructure can be categorised into three segments: mission-critical, industrial and traditional enterprise or ‘business critical. 

Here is a breakdown of each segment:

Mission-critical: Verticals that require ‘always on’ connectivity addressable through redundancy and dedicated resource, as well as the need or desire for mobile site connectivity. Loss of connectivity would likely result in significant negative business or operational outcomes.

Industrial: Verticals whose primary focus is process and industrial automation for Industry 4.0. It also generally involves providing high-capacity and ultra-reliable low-latency communication (5G URLLC) either with time-sensitive networking (TSN) or as an alternative.

Traditional enterprise or ‘Business-Critical’: These are verticals that require deterministic wireless networking beyond standard Wi-Fi, but where redundancy and automation needs are lower. These include ‘business critical’ applications, where the loss of connectivity could result in revenue loss.

IDC’s report comes after an analysis from Frost & Sullivan projected ‘massive growth’ ahead for the APAC region’s 5G enterprise market.

The analyst firm found that potential revenue for 5G enterprises in the region is expected to grow ‘exponentially’, reaching $13.9 billion by 2024 — up from $2 billion in 2019 at a 46.4 CAGR.

“5G enterprises in Asia-Pacific are undergoing digital transformation at a more rapid pace to either optimise or enable business processes to keep up with the changing consumer demand,” says Frost & Sullivan information and communication technologies research analyst Sofea Zukarnain.

“However, these digital transformation initiatives will add pressure on existing networks, as new solutions will require higher bandwidth and availability to offer the necessary reliability, driving the need for enterprises to transform their network infrastructure. 

“This will boost the demand for 5G enterprise solutions and new enabling technologies such as network slicing and edge computing.”