Advanced Communications Services – beyond faster broadband
techUK started work in the 5G Ecosystem working group just over two years ago, with a goal of bringing together different organisations who would contribute to finding new ways to use the capabilities of 5G, beyond the headline speed increases which dominate the Consumer advertising. These capabilities include mission-critical, low-latency services including manufacturing and logistics, and applications where masses of individual devices may need to be tracked and monitored, such as cities, medical settings, and city spaces including shopping malls.
The group has wide representation from mobile operators, satellite operators, equipment suppliers, security experts and representatives from potential users in industry and public sector organisations. During the time, we changed the group’s name to be more technology agnostic, as Wi-Fi and other technologies can also be used to deliver capabilities. I personally come from a long background in Telecoms, and now work for CGI, a Global Systems Integrator, focussed on finding new ways for organisations to make use of technology to drive value and reduce their costs. During my career I have led the process of introducing new technologies and linking business and technology organisations to plan and lead business transformation. This is exactly what we need to do now to fully exploit the capabilities of 5G and other communications technologies.
The group recognised that we need the following complementary skills to make a significant step forward in a new technology area such as 5G in order to realise the security benefits of private and hybrid networks:
- Deep understanding of industry and public sector use cases – the specific challenges that need to be addressed
- Deep technology expertise in the domain – initially 5G, but widened to other private network technologies
- Ability to think beyond current constraints and imagine new ways of doing things – a holistic view including a clear architecture perspective, spanning theory and practice
- Commercial understanding – the financial pressures faced by organisations, and how can business cases be developed to enable investment.
After a great deal of discussion, workshops (all held virtually) and hours of work from the Working Group members, techUK has published two complementary documents. The first is Private Networks: a user guide by techUK, developed in conjunction with the wider techUK Team, which aims to help prospective users better understand the benefits of private networks, and the second is the Private network ecosystem: Management model.
Private networks: a new user guide by techUK
Our #techUKPrivateNetworks campaign week celebrated the publication of a new user guide techUK has produced, to help prospective private networks customers, across enterprise and the public sector, understand the key benefits of adopting advanced connectivity in their organisations. The guide helps users as they formulate a business case for investing in enhanced private networks, and the key success factors. We also shine a spotlight on several case studies.
Private network ecosystem: Management model - A new techUK guide
techUK's Advanced Communications Services Working Group created a new guide for organisations considering building out services using 5G networking technology entitled 'Private network ecosystem: Management model'.
It introduces and describes the principles of neutral hosts, and then goes on to describe the architecture and ecosystem which supports the provision of shared services, particularly in the context of high capacity/low latency applications, which will drive 5G deployment. While this paper is focussed on 5G, many of the principles of neutral hosts, and the discussion of edge versus core provision will apply to other technologies such as Wi-Fi, including Wi-Fi 6.
Private network ecosystem: Management model
A technical guide by techUK for users of private networks, outlining how the ecosystem is managed. It outlines the architecture of edge native applications in the architecture of the ecosystem, the value chain and operating models, resilience, operations, and the role of Neutral Hosts.
The techUK podcast: Making the case for Private Networks
In this episode of the techUK podcast, we explore the topic of private networks for enterprise, specifically, how we can accelerate the deployment of private networks from beyond the testbed phase and drive adoption across industry and the public sector.
The episode covers the key challenges for enterprise customers that the telecoms sector can address with advanced connectivity services, including 5G and Wi-Fi 6, and how we, the supplier base, can effectively deliver on the benefits of private networks.
Sophie James, Head of Telecoms and Spectrum Policy at techUK, joins a conversation with Simon Parry, CTO at Nokia Enterprise, Catherine Gull, Consultant at Cellnex and Dez O’Connor, Senior Manager at Cisco. Sophie also catches up with Mike Kennett, Senior Consultant & Head of Regulatory Affairs at Freshwave.
The Management model, provides a framework and architecture for understanding and developing solutions. It discusses different ways to deploy capability, with different partnering models and approaches to solving problems such as low latency, essential for cases where real-time control is needed, or human interaction such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, where every millisecond counts. The paper explores the value chain explaining how data and communications must work together, to deliver services to end users based on data sourced from devices. This will give readers a more in-depth understanding of how networks can be delivered and operated.
Wherever you are in exploring Private Networks, please take the time to read these resources. They benefit from hundreds of hours of input from techUK members and represents many decades of experience from those who have contributed.
Guest blog by Alan Nunn, Chair of techUK's Advanced Communications Services Working Group.
To read more from the Future Private Networks campaign week check out our landing page here.