Europe is leading the way in 5G and private networks, with the region gaining early traction in Industry 4.0 ‘smart factory’ deployments, according to GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company’s new Connected Enterprise Tracker has revealed that the manufacturing sector accounts almost a third of 5G and private network deployments, and much of this activity is concentrated in Europe. However, while Europe has taken an early lead—accounting for 56% of deployments up to now—that is expected to change as North America and other regions are also set for growth.
Private cellular networks are deployed to support enterprises and public sector entities to get connected in locations where public mobile networks or Wi-Fi is unsuitable or unavailable. One use for these networks is within smart factories, a new type of manufacturing facility that uses connected devices to continuously collect data that is used to automatically make processes more efficient.
John Marcus, Principal Technology Analyst at GlobalData comments: “Smart factories are leading the next evolution in efficient manufacturing, and implementation is happening quickly. I would certainly expect that every new factory built from 2025 will include secure high bandwidth connectivity in its design to support advanced automation, while many larger manufacturers are now deploying private 4G and 5G in their existing plants. Europe is leading in Industry 4.0 but other regions will catch up. In North America, industrial giants are testing public and private 5G but so far it has been other sectors, such as education.”
5G and private cellular networks highly benefit mission-critical digital applications that require guaranteed bandwidth and low latency. Within an industrial environment, that may mean use cases such as self-driving forklifts in the warehouse, or real-time holographic visualization of building progress on the construction site.
GlobalData’s Connected Enterprise Tracker shows that 5G and private networks have also been deployed by organizations in government* (11%), mining (11%), transportation (10%), and education (7%).
Marcus adds: “Mining is interesting because the sector accounts for only 1% of global GDP but so far represents a much larger share of 5G and private network deployments. It’s clearly an industry that sees immediate benefits in digitizing and automating all of its core processes securely with private 4G/5G connectivity.”
“Transportation is seeing early adoption of private networks, including 5G. This is especially so in port operations, the site whereby many different industrial organizations come together within the wider supply chain. High-speed and highly secure connectivity is enabling real-time asset tracking of containers and control of equipment and vehicles, along with workflow analytics, smart gate management, and drone surveillance at port terminals around the world.”
The Connected Enterprise Tracker is GlobalData’s unique database that tracks Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. It now includes details on hundreds of individual 5G and private network deployments by enterprise type, in addition to thousands of IoT implementations. Users can not only search, filter, and visualize insights with customized charts on IoT and private network deployment trends—by region, vertical, use case, connectivity, and other parameters—but they can also search the database by keyword, enabling more flexible and precise filtering to find deployments using specific terms (e.g., “edge” or “AI”). Users can also download filtered lists of IoT and private network deployments into Excel-compatible formats, with additional details provided including source links for each deployment case study.
Marcus notes: “Adding information on 5G and private networks to the Connected Enterprise Tracker means GlobalData clients can access up-to-date trends on what’s happening in the real world with enterprise 5G, including private or dedicated 5G (and 4G) networks.”
* Most for use in smart cities or military bases