Automation and digitalization are global trends. In industrial sectors, they are driven primarily through campus and private 5G or LTE networks, which offer improved digitalization, security, and efficiency.
What are private networks?
Private networks (PN) are referred to by several names and variants: dedicated networks (DN), non-public networks (NPN), campus networks (CN), and Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). They are self-contained networks that can be deployed almost anywhere as an advantageous alternative to Wi-Fi and public mobile networks. Upcoming 5G versions are set to offer customers increased bandwidth and reduced latency, as well as improved security and reliability. Compared with Wi-Fi, cellular networks and the connected devices can be managed centrally and provide a higher level of security.
Private networks enable organizations and companies to optimize their network, secure data in-house, have better cost management, and support specific service-level agreements (SLAs). This smart connectivity with private cellular networks enables industrial enterprises to unleash the potential of automation, control, and exponential growth.
SIMs and eSIMs in private networks
SIMs and eSIMs are core components that enable reliable mobile connectivity. In private networks, they also guarantee a high level of security, which is required for especially sensitive fields.
The use of eSIM management significantly increases flexibility in these networks and ensures reliable and secure operation for many years. In addition, support for eSIM greatly simplifies the connection of industrial devices in the process.
Although Long-Term Evolution (LTE), CBRS, and other private network technologies have been well established in recent years, the next connectivity stage on industry experts’ minds is 5G. The 5G technology offers several advantages, such as higher frequency bands, that make it more attractive for industries and enterprises. In addition, 5G is beneficial because it is more reliable, scalable, and secure than Wi-Fi technology.
In most industrialized countries, many companies are already acquiring licenses for private networks. Similar to the internet of things (IoT), private networks are split into three types:
The first successful implementations have already been made for these use cases, and G+D is right at the forefront to support this trend.
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Pioneering private 5G networks
G+D and the Technical University of Kaiserslautern (TUK) have completed the world’s first commercial eSIM deployment in private 5G networks. They agreed to start with the most necessary devices that need connectivity on campus, i.e the industrial PC and the industrial robot.
There are several challenges when it comes to enabling a PN. For example, security and access in control and management is a central topic that must be considered when setting up a PN. Luckily, this can be solved with the use of a SIM/eSIM.
However, for the industry, some simple things can still be challenging:
- Where to get a SIM/eSIM for a PN
- Quantity is low compared with mobile network operators (MNOs)
- Limited SIM/eSIM know-how
- How to manage the connectivity of devices
- How to get visibility in all network components
- Roaming in public mobile networks
The role of G+D in private networks
G+D supports the network technology, including SIM/eSIM cards and management solutions. eSIM management is an important and innovative technology for accessing the various 5G networks, and it offers numerous advantages compared with conventional SIM cards. These include less required space (especially for IoT devices), longer lifetimes, reduced downtime, and, most importantly, greater flexibility for global deployments when choosing and switching network providers.
Crucial for PN deployments is the device’s ability to seamlessly roam between private and public networks. This is important in many use cases, particularly where a campus network (e.g. a factory) needs to be connected to public networks, for example to track and trace goods along the whole supply and distribution chain. eSIM enables this seamless integration, since both public and private network profiles are included and managed via the same platform. Due to the same security policies applied to the SIM whether it is on the public or private network the device can roam without security being compromised.
Our products and solutions for PN
G+D provides the AirOn360® server solution for private networks. This platform enables profile creation, eSIM management, and credential delivery over the air and into devices. It allows for the central management of all devices and components that are used in the network.
This solution allows the required eSIM profiles and credentials to be loaded and managed wirelessly on a single PC. Dedicated software ensures that devices automatically use the correct profile when they change networks. Moreover, custom-built SIM applets enable value-added features, for instance zero touch provisioning.
SIM and eSIM
SIM cards and eSIM devices will need to be securely programmed, allocated to devices, and then managed during the time in which they are in the PN. When devices leave the PN, or if the PN is not available, it can be connected to a public mobile network that is operated by an MNO. This scenario is similar to roaming among several public mobile networks. The SIM/eSIM can be configured and remotely managed to ensure this automatic switching between networks.
Private LTE provides many of the benefits of 5G today, such as low latency and network slicing, as well as enabling a seamless transition to the Private 5G networks of tomorrow. It is enabled through a dedicated private LTE core which is installed in the cloud or on the customer premises. This is managed via a centralized platform, which can be used to configure and manage both private and public network connectivity. Private LTE is offered in a variety of ways, whether via a standalone campus network or a combination of private and public networks. If building a private network in an area where there is insufficient public network coverage, our access to an ecosystem of partners provides the necessary hardware and infrastructure for an enterprise to create its own campus network on private or unlicensed spectrum.
Anything else you need
Whatever the needs, when it comes to PNs and connectivity between devices, G+D has comprehensive solutions available. Our solutions are tailored to meet the requirements of several industries, such as network equipment providers (NEPs), system integrators (specialists for technical implementation), and the private network owners (PNOs).
If you’re interested in learning more or taking advantage of our solutions, contact us today.
Technical University of Kaiserslautern (TUK)
TUK has completed the world’s first deployment test of eSIMs in a private network. Watch the video to learn how fast and easy the G+D eSIM management proceeds.
See how Druid Software and G+D come together to offer a simple, secure way of joining private networks using their innovative eSIM capability.
Deutsche Messe and G+D launch a strategic partnership in eSIM management services for 5G Smart Venue.
Our 5G packages give service providers the technologies they need for their networks at every stage – before, during, and after a 5G mobile network rollout.
IoT security suite
IoT is becoming more present in our daily lives. New applications and developments – such as smart cities, autonomous cars, industrial IoT, and products – capture our attention.
Thanks to our full-service solutions for eSIM management, MNOs benefit from a flexible and dynamic user journey that leverages existing business infrastructures and processes.
More insights into private networks
Switching to 5G private networks
New 5G versions of private LTE networks will offer customers improved capacity, security, and reliability over 4G LTE. Sharath Muddaiah from G+D explains.
Watch GSMA eSIM Seminar
This eSIM Seminar is about the importance of lifecycle management in private 5G networks and has been part of the GSMA MWC Barcelona 2021.
eSIM technology drives IoT devices
The global ecosystem sees embedded SIM (eSIM) technology as a core strategic asset for future connectivity on the Internet of Things (IoT).