Private networks: a new user guide by techUK
As technology innovation continues to allow the UK to grow its economy, technology trade association techUK has today released a new guide outlining the benefits of private networks adoption, ‘Private networks: a user guide by techUK’.
The guide finds that growth of private 4G, 5G and recent advances in both Wi-Fi technology and satellite communications have seen a raft of innovative testbeds and proof-of-concepts for enhanced private networks for enterprise and the public sector. 2022 now presents a unique opportunity for the accelerated adoption of private networks.
Adoption of enhanced private networks is accelerating, bolstered by a healthy and vibrant ecosystem of operators, suppliers, system integrators, and security experts, and the technologies now being within reach from an economical perspective for both SMEs as well as bigger companies.
However, further private network adoption will enable new and transformative technologies for enterprise, helping to unlock efficiencies and advanced intelligence, and strengthening the security of organisations driving business, skills and service change worth £43 billion by 2030, reports the techUK guide.
It is not just the private sector that is set to benefit from the increased adoption of enhanced wireless connectivity, as public services can also be improved and adapted thanks to private networks.
Deploying a new private network can enable a wider set of opportunities through digital transformation:
- Increased productivity and efficiency: private networks can unlock intelligence for enterprise through sensory networks. Capturing data in real time, an operational model of a factory enables predictive maintenance, identifying fixes to reduce downtime, and help reduce costs.
- Advanced applications: linking an advanced private network with cloud-based IT/OT infrastructure enables a number of digital applications and services to be unlocked. These include wide-area mobility for autonomous and remote-controlled operations, from smart manufacturing, the use of drones and autonomous vehicles, AI, machine vision, edge computing and augmented reality
- Internet of Things: deploying a new ecosystem of connected IoT devices is more viable for businesses. IoT technology enables manufacturers to increase the number of sensors fitted to equipment, collect more data, and measure more variables. This data collection and analysis can enable necessary maintenance to be carried out in a scheduled way, reducing downtime and minimising the impact of repairs on a factory’s performance. IoT sensor technology can be used across multiple industry sectors.
- Safety: the mobility benefits of dedicated private networks mean increased worker safety, especially in challenging or hazardous environments, including ports, mines, and off-shore facilities. Bespoke connectivity solutions designed to operate in hazardous locations ensure radio and phone communication, help control bandwidth for worker communication and can integrate safety and maintenance apps into operational systems.
“With the help of this techUK guide, prospective users of advanced private networks can gain a clear understanding of the full range of benefits of adopting communications technology, to help build their business case for investment. techUK members from our Communications Infrastructure and Services Programme stand ready to help enterprise and the public sector to meet unique operational needs, and unlock the potential of digital transformation”.
“Private Networks offer a real opportunity to drive growth and productivity in the UK economy. techUK’s guide clearly outlines the benefits of this innovative technology, such as the ability to drive cost and efficiency in sectors as diverse as UK manufacturing, logistics, healthcare and entertainment. Now is the time for businesses and public sector to scale in this technology and drive real change in the way they operate and communicate.”
The techUK guide to Private Networks is the culmination of events and activity led by members engaged with our Communications Infrastructure and Services Programme, and our Advanced Communications Services Working Group. techUK held a series of workshops in the summer of 2021, exploring ports and logistics, health and social care, and manufacturing andand Industry 4.0, as well as security, and the PN ecosystem. Members can rewatch these workshops on our Communications Infrastructure and Services Group page.
'Private network ecosystem: Management model - A techUK guide'
Complementing the user guide, techUK has simultaneously published 'Private network ecosystem: Management model - A techUK guide', a technical publication 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.
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