UPDATED 11:53 EDT / FEBRUARY 28 2023


Private 5G attracts major attention at telco gathering in Barcelona

An open standard for radio access networks, or Open RAN, is a significant topic of conversation at MWC in Barcelona this week.

One reason for the interest is that Open RAN could significantly reduce the cost of building private 5G networks for enterprises. Dell’Oro Group Inc. recently revised its Open RAN forecast higher, with an expectation that the standard could account for between 15% and 20% of global RAN deployments by 2027.

“I was struck by how much attention is being paid to private 5G networks,” said David Nicholson (pictured, right), industry analyst for theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. “It appears as though a lot of players realize that the real opportunity is in the private sphere.”

Nicholson spoke with theCUBE industry analysts Dave Vellante (left) and Lisa Martin (center) at MWC 2023, during the day one wrap discussion in an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE. They discussed enterprise interest in 5G and how the telco industry must continue to manage disruption. (* Disclosure below.)

Early days for 5G deployment

Enterprise interest in private 5G is accompanied by a reality that the potential impact of the 5G wireless standard has yet to be realized or implemented in major use cases.

“They are talking about 6G, but what does a fully deployed 5G network look like?” Martin asked. “What is that going to enable a hospital to achieve, or how will it help an oil refinery out in the middle of the ocean? It’s early innings.”

The focus on 5G is also being driven by its importance in enabling applications at the edge. This and the cultivation of developers by both cloud and communications service providers will set the stage for future disruption in the telco landscape.

“I’ve not heard anything from the big carriers that they’re going to be developer-friendly,” Vellante said. “Microsoft and Amazon and Google know developers. I don’t see any reason why they can’t bring their model to the edge. And that’s really disruptive to legacy telco.”

Here’s the complete video discussion, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the MWC 2023 event:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for MWC 2023. Neither Dell Technologies Inc., the primary sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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