Why the private LTE market is set to explode

Global Market Insights research analyst Shravan Deshmukh outlines the reasons the private LTE market is on the brink of widespread adoption


The rising demand for reliable and secure communication by numerous enterprises will help augment the private LTE market in the ensuing years. Businesses are currently dependent on private wireless networks for communicating, controlling automated systems and collecting insights. In the past, wireless systems had to rely on licensed narrowband two-way radio or unlicensed Wi-Fi networks, which indeed were inefficient in securely connecting hundreds of people, precisely controlling complex or critical machinery or analyzing data from thousands of sensors monitoring several aspects of a company's workflow and process. To meet these demands, industries are now turning to newer technologies, which would impel private LTE market growth.

What makes private LTE networks better than unlicensed public networks?

Private LTE networks use the same security technology and digital protocols used by current cellular networks and can be easily updated as needed. Like cellular networks, a private LTE network can be accessed and controlled via SIM card-based credentials. In addition, all the data will be stored within the company's local network, providing added relief to business from leakage of sensitive or proprietary information.

Private LTE networks offer an unmatched ability to configure a network, which includes setting up priority levels for certain types of data, offering spectrum to a specific group of application for quality-of-service requirements, and managing latency and reliability. As private LTE utilizes the same technology as cellular networks, companies can upgrade to technological advances as they develop, such as new LTE features or even an upgrade to 5G technology. LTE networks can also inherently scale to meet a company's demands and can easily accommodate machine-to-machine systems, high and low rate data, voice calls, IoT and more. Indeed, Wi-Fi networks offer many of these features, but the system falls short when compared to private LTE in terms of security, upgradeability, configurability, and scalability for businesses and industries with higher end needs.

Do IoT modules support private LTE network deployment?

Private LTE systems offer smooth mobility and inter-cell hand-off, a key feature required by industrial IoT applications. A recent report from Global Market Insights, Inc. suggests that the private LTE market size from IoT modules will register a CAGR of around 35% over 2018–2024, driven by the rapid adoption of IoT-based devices which are compatible to wireless networks, including private LTE networks. The usage of IoT in smart building and cities will further drive the deployment of IoT modules, augmenting the private LTE market size.

Which is the most lucrative application arena for private LTE market?

Organizations can greatly benefit from the deployment of a private LTE network that apparently lacks in traditional public networks. The system can support several vertical sectors including primary industries, utilities, enterprises and more. Private LTE is also massively used by factory-floor robotics, logistics and warehouse divisions. However, one of the most profitable application arenas of private LTE market is public safety.

Global Market Insights note that public safety applications will hold around 35% of the private LTE market share by 2024, propelled by the rising number of public safety agencies shifting to private LTE networks for combating the demand for bandwidth-intensive applications.

To effectively respond to emergencies, a number of the UK's ESPOs (emergency service providers organizations) and agencies recently deployed their own dedicated networks to deliver secure mission-critical video, voice and data. In another example, in July 2018, Germany's public-safety network, BDBOS confirmed 450MHz to be a dedicated frequency for high-performance data services. The spectrum enables rescue and security teams to deploy communication services in mission-critical applications.

Are there any companies that have adopted this technology?

Australia's mining conglomerate, Rio Tinto was reportedly the first large enterprise to use private LTE network to drive its commercial operations. In 2013, the company developed a network solution to monitor 15 mines and other businesses including railways, ports, transport hubs, offices, etc., in the region. UK-based Ocado technology, the largest online grocery retailer, is another real-time user of the system who developed its own e-commerce fulfilment and logistics cloud platform called OSP. The platform uses private LTE network to control and monitor pick-and-place robots in warehouse fulfilling its requirement of reliability, mobility, connection density and low latency.

The competitive spectrum of private LTE market is characterized by the presence of companies such as Nokia, Huawei, ZTE, Qualcomm, Future Technologies and Ericsson. As the demand for reliable, secure communication for applications like IoT, logistics tracking and augmented reality continues to grow, private LTE market share is likely to observe an upsurge.

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