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Security concerns are accelerating private 5G adoption

By Shannon Williams
Thu 9 Dec 2021

There is a significant interest in private 5G networks, with 90% of executives expecting that private 5G will become the standard network choice, new research has revealed.

NTT has released a new report, developed by Economist Impact, that reveals insights from a survey of CIOs and senior decision-makers examining the industry challenges around the implementation and adoption of private 5G. 

The report, Private 5G here and now, shows that just over half of companies (51%) planning to deploy a private 5G network will do so within the next six to 24 months to improve security, reliability, and speed, with 30% of these respondents already deploying or being in the process of deploying a private 5G network. 

The most significant interest is from German organisations, with 40% of German businesses deploying private 5G networks. This is followed by 28% of UK firms, 26% of Japanese firms and 24% of American firms. 

The majority (80%) of executives agree that COVID-19 has made it easier to secure the budget needed for 5G deployment. This attitude is strongest in Germany (93%), followed by the US (83%), the UK (77%) and Japan (65%).

Security concerns are accelerating private 5G adoption 

With ransomware on the rise, the CIO and CISO are looking for ways to shore up their defences against increasingly sophisticated attacks. The report finds that 69% of executives agree that the security of their current infrastructure is not strong enough. Other pain points include the control of enterprise data (48%), coverage and speed (43%) and the response time (latency) of their current service provider (40%). When compared with technologies such as Wi-Fi and Public 5G, private 5G networks provide significantly more security capabilities. 

83% of executives rate improved data privacy and security as a very important outcome they expect to achieve with the implementation of private 5G networks. It is clear that CIOs want security and control while also enabling digitalisation and believe a local private 5G network will enable these critical business requirements. This is encouraging enterprises to build and run their own private 5G networks.

Challenges and successful deployment strategies for private 5G

The report identifies that the most common (44%) barrier to deploying private 5G networks is integrating the technology with legacy systems and networks. The complexity surrounding the deployment and management of private 5G networks is also cited as another significant barrier by 37% of respondents. Employees lacking the technical skills and expertise to manage 5G networks is the third most common barrier facing 30% of firms. 

This is one of the reasons why outsourcing to a managed service provider is the preferred approach by 38% of CIOs when it comes to implementing private 5G networks. Buying private 5G network as-a-service can accelerate time to adoption and offer a better end-user experience and return on investment.

Private 5G powers digital transformation across industries

"The research highlights that the adoption of private 5G is happening now," says Shahid Ahmed, group EVP, new ventures and innovation at NTT.

"The companies leveraging private 5G will have an unprecedented competitive advantage," he says. 

"Whether a company owns a factory floor, distribution centres, storefront or office space, private 5G can dramatically help digitise their businesses securely." 

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