The total number of organisations deploying at least one private mobile network increased in the second quarter of 2023 to 1212, a net addition of 64 customer references and up from 1148 in Q1 2023, according to the latest global data released by Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). LTE is used in 899 of the catalogued customers deploying private mobile networks for which GSA has data; 5G is being deployed in 537, or 44 percent, of these customers. The new report Private Mobile Networks – Market Status Update reveals how the use of LTE and 5G varies by industry and by country, with some industries and countries such as Hospitals and Germany skewing more toward 5G, while LTE is more dominant in verticals such as oil and gas, mining and countries in Latin America.
The new report from the GSA’s Private Mobile Networks Special Interest Group (SIG) — which also announced the addition of major industry associations including 5G-ACIA and OnGo Alliance to its membership — reveals a strong, positive correlation between the number of private mobile network references and countries with dedicated spectrum. Telecom regulators are also showing signs of making increased allocations of dedicated spectrum available for private mobile networks. Spectrum for private mobile is typically issued in small tranches in specified locations, with some regulators also making it available to be acquired directly by organisations instead of by mobile operators, giving industries an alternative deployment model. Nine of the top 10 countries have dedicated spectrum for industry, with Spain and Norway the latest countries to allocate dedicated spectrum of this sort.
On average, 65 percent of references — and 80 percent of the references added in 2022/2023 — included in the GSA Private Mobile Networks – Market Status Update are non-public and unique to this database, submitted by members of the GSA Private Mobile Networks SIG. This number can be higher for certain industries, with more than 80 percent of sectors such as military and defence, maritime and power plants not visible in the public domain.
Joe Barrett, president, GSA, commented, “The exact number of existing private mobile networks is hard to determine, as details are not often made public. Even trying to track the number of existing customers can also be challenging. Addressing this gap in data and industry understanding is the driving force behind GSA providing the first and most comprehensive database of customer deployments of private LTE and 5G networks worldwide.
“A large number and a wide range of market participants are actively engaged in developing and delivering solutions for private mobile networks. With so much opportunity, and so many regulators planning initiatives to make spectrum available for LTE and 5G private usage, we expect significant market developments over the next couple of years. We’re delighted to welcome our industry colleagues from 5G-ACIA and OnGo Alliance as members of the PMN SIG and will be working with all SIG members to gather data and publish further statistical updates covering the private mobile sector during 2023.”