#1: WIDESPREAD ROLL-OUT OF 5G
2022 saw significant progress and advancements in the availability of 5G. By the end of the year, there were about one billion 5G users across the globe, with the technology moving closer to the mainstream than ever before.
The availability of 5G is set to continue to grow over the next two years, with 63% of connections in North America predicted to be 5G by 2025, 52% in China and 44% in Europe, according to data from the GSMA.
This year, we’re likely to see the availability of 5G continuing to grow, with the more unlikely and previously underserved venues becoming 5G-ready. This is creating unique opportunities for connected places and smart communities to rise. And when layered together with technologies like AI, data analytics and IoT, it has the potential to become one of the greatest enablers for public and private enterprises.
What’s more, 5G networks are essential on our road to the metaverse.
High-quality 3D experiences on VR, AR and all mobile devices include streaming of models to the end-user. 5G and edge computing will allow to stream from cloud-based systems to any device or platform. The roll-out of 5G is fundamental for the best visual quality and for lowering the costs for end-user devices.
New metaverse technologies will use adaptive streaming to deliver the best experiences for users and the many different flavours and characteristics of mobile networks. Fluid experiences will work hand in hand with 5G architectures that are optimized for characteristics such as connection speed and device computing capabilities. The better your mobile network the more premium your experience can be without increasing costs on the device side. Real cross-platform and cross-device metaverse will only be possible with the best networks. BAI’s neutral host networks are pioneering interoperability on all these fronts.
#2: THE RISE OF PRIVATE NETWORKS
As we see increased availability of 5G networks, we’ll also see more private networks be deployed. At present, networks are built with the three Cs in mind – coverage, capacity, and capability. However, in 2023, we’re set to see organisations demanding a fourth ‘C’ – control. Enterprises in particular want to have autonomy over their networks. At BAI we work with our customers to design their private networks to serve their use cases. The customers’ use cases drive the technology we build for them.
As a result, 2023 is likely to be the year of the private network to provide that control and autonomy enterprises are seeking. For demanding venues, such as manufacturing plants, ports and sports venues, for example, private networks can address complex needs, and allow for cloud-native deployments in public, hybrid and private environments. At BAI we define the characteristics of a private network to meet the enterprise customer’s unmet needs. This is how we select and manage the technology, to serve and enhance our customer’s ability to serve their customers. On the financial side this includes special models for CAPEX and OPEX implications that enable our customers to invest their money exactly where they can generate superior returns.
It’s likely we’ll see widespread roll-out of private networks and greater demand for such services, to give control of networks–whether that be in relation to capacity, speed, or security protocols–back to the end user.
BAI, as a neutral host provider, has already seen this growth in demand for private networks from enterprises, supporting a number of customers in developing their own mobile networks. One key example is in the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea 2, based off the Yorkshire coast in England.
#3: NET-ZERO TARGETS FUELLING SHARED INFRASTRUCTURE SOLUTIONS
This desire for greater control will also have a positive impact on sustainability agendas. Across all industries, there’s heavy focus on reducing energy usage and carbon emissions, with many businesses holding ambitious net-zero targets and commitments to ESG.
BAI’s neutral host capability enables shared infrastructure which accelerates the deployment of mobile networks, reducing the impact of hardware and chip shortages and making the supply chain, deployment, and operations more cost- and energy efficient. In an effort to reduce their impact, many organisations, including mobile network operators (MNOs), enterprises and local authorities, may begin to look to each other to pool their resources and consider shared network infrastructure solutions to minimise the energy used to create and maintain new networks.
Neutral host technology is a fair and equal opportunity offer helping MNOs to extend and enhance their services to all their subscribers with reduced environmental impact. BAI’s neutral host capability provides significant cost savings in supply chains compared to installing multiple dedicated networks for each MNO and thus increase the reach of modern networks. Cost savings enable affordable subscriber plans. Such savings make mobile networks more affordable to everyone who benefits from the connectivity they provide – enterprise, industry, public buildings, and the people who wish to stay connected wherever they are.
2023 is set to be an interesting year for the telecoms industry, with many challenges, but also great opportunities ahead. The availability of standalone 5G, rise of private networks and laser focus on sustainability could see the industry become more important than ever before.