Commdex Blog

Frequently Asked Questions About Private 5G Networks

As private 5G networks gain traction among enterprises, many organizations have questions about this transformative technology. In this blog post, we’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions about private 5G networks, helping you better understand their benefits, deployment options, and potential use cases.

1. What is a private 5G network?

A private 5G network is a dedicated wireless network that provides enterprises with secure, high-speed, and low-latency connectivity for their specific needs. Unlike public 5G networks, private 5G networks are owned, operated, and controlled by the enterprise itself or in partnership with a service provider.

2. What are the benefits of private 5G networks?

Private 5G networks offer several key benefits, including:

  • Ultra-low latency and high bandwidth for mission-critical applications
  • Enhanced security and data privacy through network isolation
  • Customizable network architecture tailored to specific business needs
  • Scalability to support a large number of connected devices and applications
  • Improved network reliability and performance compared to public networks

3. Why is private 5G better than Wi-Fi6?

Private 5G networks offer several advantages over Wi-Fi 6 that make them better suited for certain use cases, particularly in industrial and enterprise settings:

  • Wider coverage: 5G networks can cover larger areas than Wi-Fi 6, making them suitable for expansive facilities like factories, warehouses, and campuses.
  • Lower latency: 5G offers ultra-low latency, which is crucial for real-time applications, such as remote surgery, autonomous vehicles, and industrial automation.
  • Higher reliability: 5G networks are designed to be more reliable than Wi-Fi, with built-in features like network slicing and quality of service (QoS) to prioritize critical traffic.
  • Increased security: Private 5G networks provide enhanced security features, such as end-to-end encryption, authentication, and access control, which are essential for sensitive data and applications.
  • Scalability: 5G networks can support a larger number of connected devices than Wi-Fi 6, making them more suitable for IoT deployments and high-density environments.
  • Mobility: 5G supports seamless mobility, allowing devices to maintain connections while moving across large areas, which is important for applications like autonomous vehicles and mobile robots.

4. What industries can benefit from private 5G networks?

Private 5G networks can benefit a wide range of industries, such as:

    • Healthcare: 5G for healthcare facilities can support telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and connected medical devices.
    • Transportation: 5G for transportation hubs like airports and subways can enhance safety, efficiency, and passenger experience.
    • Commercial Real Estate: 5G for commercial real estate, including office buildings and venues, can enable smart building management and immersive user experiences.
    • Sports and Entertainment: 5G for stadiums and venues can deliver high-speed connectivity to fans and support innovative applications.
    • Manufacturing and Logistics: Private 5G networks can enable smart factories, automated guided vehicles, and real-time asset tracking.

5. How do private 5G networks differ from public 5G networks?

Private 5G networks differ from public 5G networks in several key aspects:

  • Dedicated resources: Private 5G networks provide enterprises with exclusive access to network resources, ensuring optimal performance and security.
  • Customization: Enterprises can tailor their private 5G networks to their specific requirements, such as network architecture, quality of service, and security policies.
  • Control: Organizations have complete control over their private 5G networks, allowing them to manage access, prioritize traffic, and enforce security measures.
  • Coverage: Private 5G networks are designed to cover specific geographic areas, such as industrial sites, campuses, or venues, rather than providing wide-area coverage like public networks.

6. What are the deployment options for private 5G networks?

Enterprises have several options for deploying private 5G networks:

  • Standalone 5G SA: A fully private network owned, operated, and managed by the enterprise itself.
  • Managed service: A private network designed, deployed, and managed by a third-party service provider on behalf of the enterprise.
  • Hybrid: A combination of private and public network elements, allowing enterprises to leverage the benefits of both approaches.


7. How can enterprises ensure the security of their private 5G networks?

To ensure the security of private 5G networks, enterprises can:

  • Implement strong authentication and access control mechanisms
  • Encrypt data in transit and at rest
  • Segment the network to isolate critical assets and applications
  • Monitor the network for potential threats and anomalies
  • Regularly update and patch network components to address vulnerabilities

8. What are the challenges in deploying private 5G networks?

Some of the challenges in deploying private 5G networks include:

  • Spectrum availability: Enterprises need access to suitable spectrum bands to deploy their private networks. Private CBRS is an attractive option for many organizations.
  • Regulatory compliance: Organizations must navigate complex regulatory landscapes and obtain necessary licenses and approvals.
  • Integration with existing systems: Private 5G networks must be seamlessly integrated with existing IT and OT infrastructure.
  • Skill requirements: Deploying and managing private 5G networks requires specialized skills and expertise.

9. How can enterprises get started with private 5G networks?

To get started with private 5G networks, enterprises should:

  • Assess their connectivity requirements and identify potential use cases
  • Evaluate different deployment options and select the most suitable approach
  • Partner with experienced 5G solution providers and system integrators
  • Conduct pilot projects to validate the technology and refine their deployment strategy
  • Develop a comprehensive plan for network rollout, management, and ongoing optimization

10. What is the cost of building a Private 5G network?

The cost of building a private 5G network can vary significantly depending on factors such as the size of the deployment, the type of infrastructure used, and the specific use case requirements. However, here’s a general breakdown of the costs involved:

  • Spectrum: The cost of acquiring spectrum for private 5G can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars, depending on the location, band, and licensing model.
  • Infrastructure: This includes the cost of radio access network (RAN) equipment, such as base stations and antennas, as well as core network components and edge computing resources. The cost can range from hundreds of thousands to several million dollars, depending on the scale of the deployment and the choice of vendor.
  • Devices: 5G-compatible devices, such as smartphones, IoT sensors, and industrial equipment, can be more expensive than their Wi-Fi counterparts. The cost will depend on the number and type of devices required.
  • Installation and integration: The cost of installing and integrating the private 5G network with existing enterprise systems can vary widely, depending on the complexity of the deployment and the level of customization required. This can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Ongoing operations and maintenance: The cost of operating and maintaining a private 5G network, including software upgrades, security patches, and personnel, can be significant. Annual costs can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and complexity of the network.

As an example, a small-scale private 5G deployment for a single facility may cost between $500,000 and $1 million, while a large-scale deployment across multiple sites could cost tens of millions of dollars.

However, it’s important to note that the cost of private 5G is expected to decrease over time as the technology matures and more solutions become available. Additionally, the long-term benefits of private 5G, such as improved performance, reliability, and the ability to enable new use cases, can outweigh the initial investment for many enterprises.

11. What should enterprises consider when implementing private 5G networks?

When implementing private 5G networks, enterprises should consider the following factors:

  • Network architecture: Designing a scalable and flexible network architecture that can support current and future needs.
  • Edge computing: Leveraging private 5G edge computing to enable low-latency applications and efficient data processing.
  • Network slicing: Utilizing private 5G network slicing to create virtual networks tailored to specific applications or user groups.
  • Security: Implementing robust security measures to protect sensitive data and critical assets.
  • Spectrum options: Exploring different spectrum options, such as private CBRS, to deploy their networks cost-effectively.


12. What are the best practices for private 5G network management?

Some best practices for private 5G network management include:

  • Establishing clear governance and operational processes
  • Implementing comprehensive monitoring and analytics to ensure optimal network performance
  • Regularly updating and patching network components to maintain security and reliability
  • Continuously assessing and optimizing the network to meet evolving business needs
  • Providing adequate training and support to end-users to maximize the benefits of private 5G networks

13. Can 5G support legacy clients and non-3GPP technologies? Is QoS across cellular and the existing L2/L3 campus network possible?

Yes, 5G networks can support legacy clients and non-3GPP technologies, and it is possible to achieve Quality of Service (QoS) across cellular and existing Layer 2 and Layer 3 campus networks. Let’s explore these aspects in more detail:

Legacy clients and non-3GPP technologies:

  1. Dual Connectivity: 5G networks can support dual connectivity, allowing devices to simultaneously connect to both 5G and LTE networks. This enables legacy 4G devices to operate alongside 5G devices.
  2. Non-Standalone (NSA) Architecture: 5G networks can be deployed in a non-standalone architecture, where the 5G RAN is supported by an existing 4G core network. This allows legacy devices to access the network while benefiting from 5G’s enhanced capacity and coverage.
  3. Interworking with Wi-Fi: 5G networks can interwork with Wi-Fi networks using technologies like LTE-WLAN Aggregation (LWA) and LTE-WLAN Radio Level Integration with IPsec Tunnel (LWIP). These technologies enable seamless handover and aggregation of cellular and Wi-Fi traffic.

QoS across cellular and campus networks:

  1. Network Slicing: 5G networks support network slicing, which allows operators to create multiple virtual networks with specific QoS requirements on a single physical infrastructure. This enables the prioritization of critical traffic and the allocation of dedicated resources for specific applications.
  2. Quality of Service (QoS) Mechanisms: 5G networks have built-in QoS mechanisms, such as QoS Flow Identifier (QFI) and Guaranteed Bit Rate (GBR), which allow for the prioritization and allocation of network resources based on application requirements.
  3. SD-WAN Integration: Integration of 5G with Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technologies enables end-to-end QoS across cellular and campus networks. SD-WAN allows for the intelligent routing of traffic based on application requirements and network conditions.
  4. Edge Computing: Deploying edge computing resources in close proximity to end-users can help ensure low-latency and high-quality service delivery across cellular and campus networks.

To achieve end-to-end QoS across cellular and campus networks, enterprises need to implement a comprehensive QoS strategy that encompasses both the 5G network and the existing Layer 2 and Layer 3 infrastructure. This may involve:

  1. Defining QoS policies and traffic classification rules based on application requirements.
  2. Configuring QoS mechanisms on network elements, such as routers, switches, and firewalls.
  3. Implementing SD-WAN or other network orchestration technologies to ensure consistent QoS across different network domains.
  4. Monitoring and optimizing network performance to ensure that QoS requirements are met.

By leveraging the capabilities of 5G and implementing a holistic QoS strategy, enterprises can support legacy clients and non-3GPP technologies while ensuring consistent performance across cellular and campus networks.


14. Who are the top 5G solution providers and vendors in the United States?

Several top 5G solution providers and vendors in the United States can help enterprises deploy private 5G networks, such as:

  • Commdex: A leading provider of wireless network solutions based in in the Southeast US, (Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with extensive experience in 5G deployment nationwide.
  • AT&T: One of the largest telecommunications companies in the US, offering a range of 5G solutions for enterprises.
  • Verizon: Another major telecommunications provider with a strong presence in the private 5G market.
  • Samsung: A global leader in 5G technology, providing end-to-end solutions for private 5G networks.
  • Nokia: A renowned telecommunications equipment manufacturer offering a comprehensive portfolio of private 5G solutions.

15. How can private 5G networks support public safety and government applications?

Private 5G networks can significantly enhance public safety and government applications by:

  • Enabling secure and reliable communication for first responders and emergency services
  • Supporting real-time video surveillance and situational awareness
  • Facilitating the deployment of smart city applications, such as intelligent traffic management and public transportation optimization
  • Providing high-speed connectivity for government offices and facilities, improving operational efficiency and citizen services

As private 5G networks continue to evolve, enterprises that embrace this technology will be well-positioned to unlock new opportunities, drive innovation, and gain a competitive edge in their respective industries. By partnering with experienced 5G solution providers and vendors, organizations can navigate the complexities of private 5G deployment and maximize the benefits of this transformative technology.