There are a number of varying predictions in cellular networking that will be unfolding in the year 2021. Looking forward at the anticipation, the three foremost advancements which will gain momentum are 5G private networking, Open RAN, and the widespread launch of discrete 5G services.
5G discrete services will abound
In 2021, carrier leaders such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, and SK Telecom will roll out a host of new 5G services for both consumers and enterprises. Despite the pressure being immense, the investment in arranging 5G is in the tens of billions per carrier.
The 5G services that are expected from the customer’s point of view are low latency mobile gaming offerings, mixed reality experiences, etc. The most compelling offerings by the 5G services will be in the enterprise field—augmented field service applications, personalized brick, and mortar retail experience, and enhanced telemedicine capabilities.
The 5G services were hyped up in 2020 but this is the year, we will witness the significant improvement in the private networking, Open RAN, and discrete 5G service deployment.
Private networking adoption ramps
A selected number of devices to communicate with one another are provided with private networking. What the public carrier largely serves are the subscriber bases with speed and performance. This is vastly dependent on the number of users, density of base stations, spectrum characteristics, and other factors.
5G services are compelling for operational technology (OT). Wi-Fi doesn’t serve the warehouses, manufacturing lines, and industrial control systems which mainly consist of the “non-carpeted” OT areas. Some of the most enthralling use cases in these environments are as listed:
- Machine to machine communication improves the manufacturing yields.
- Autonomous operations strengthen worker safety
- IoT is censoring for industrial applications, a chain of custody and control, and “smart” city management.
Open RAN finds its footing
A hotly debated topic in 2020 was the Open Radio Access Network (RAN). Open RAN has the potential to significantly lower both the capital and operational cost of positioning cellular networks. The tradeoffs could come in the form of lower performance and higher integration complexity. To bring a new ecosystem of domestically sourced hardware and software vendors together many U.S. government officials bellowed for Open RAN evaluations. These will in-turn reduce the dependency on European and Chinese infrastructure.