Private network solutions in light of 5G

Published: 17 December 2021

NMHH sees the spread of private networks and has recognized the significance of private network solutions. Innovative solutions pose a challenge for the regulator as it has to decide whether it is necessary for it to intervene or not. As a result of examining the topic of private networks, with the involvement of market players too, NMHH prepared two expert material in which it analyses the possibilities focusing on solutions in which it could play a role as a regulator.

In today's fast-paced world, it is important to find time and cost-effective solutions in different areas of life that are flexible enough to adapt to technological developments. Such solutions can be provided by private networks based on mobile technology, which can be set up separated from the public network, and directly at customer premises, allowing, among other things, transmission speed, required response times or secure data management to be tailored to the individual needs of the customer. In recent years, the deployment of mobile private networks (non-public wireless networks, typically in geographically limited areas) has started. At present these are mostly LTE-based private networks, however, with the rollout of 5G technology, 5G private networks are expected to grow exponentially with new options and needs for use emerging in this area too.

5G can open up new opportunities for verticals discussed in this paper, such as industry, transport, education/research (universities) and healthcare. The ability to connect a large number of devices, low latency and increased data transmission capacities are seen as of paramount importance for verticals. In addition, an important feature of the new technology is its high customisability, a good example of which is the possibility of creating private networks (non-public networks). With 5G, new developments have also emerged that allow private networks to be implemented using virtualisation techniques, such as network slicing, in addition to real physical deployment. The new opportunities also increase and shape the needs of verticals and diversify the range of services offered by mobile network operators (hereinafter: operators or MNOs).

5G brings a new approach from all stakeholders (including state and market actors). This new approach also raises a number of new questions in terms of spectrum management and infrastructure use, such as whether the vertical representatives themselves need a separate right to radio spectrum usage, in this case specifically to operate private networks, or whether it is sufficient for them to use the service. If they become radio spectrum users in their own right, the question is how those applying for private network capabilities will have access to radio spectrum resources also suitable for 5G. In the following chapters, we seek answers to these and similar questions by examining the available data from the perspectives of regulation, infrastructure and technology. Our aim with the technical analysis is to identify the most typical cases, in particular those that require some form of regulatory legal action.

One other aspect of this topic is the need for identifier management resources essentially for 5G private networks to be implemented in specific cases, and the range of identifiers available for practical implementation.

When presenting the identifiers available in Hungary for the deployment of private network solutions, limited in this case to MCC + MNC, and based on the international and domestic regulatory environment, in the technical analysis we describe the elements of the toolkit currently available, the most important conditions for deploying these elements and their relationship to each other.

The professional overview materials of NMHH are for information purposes only, and based on the relevant constitutional principles and practice, the NMHH’s opinion issued without a regulatory procedure framework cannot be considered a law, or any other source of law or a public law instrument to regulate organisations, and it does not have any normative character, legal force or binding content.