Since October 2023 there have been few public announcements of new private wireless services, or enhanced capabilities of existing services from key mobile operators in the US and Europe.

Recent PCN Announcements

However, mobile operators have announced interesting new trials or commercial launches of private 5G, expanding use cases in verticals which ranged from automotive, to retail, heavy industry, event venues, universities, ports, and utilities.

US Operators

Verizon Business is building a private 5G environment for an Audi AG automotive test track in Germany. using multiple cores, radio frequencies and technologies to replicate connectivity environments on public roads across the world. The test track will be equipped with a dual 5G/LTE Modular Private Wireless platform (Nokia), private MEC capability (AWS), real-time video and data technology (Smart Mobile Labs), C-V2X communication, and mobile/automotive applications for voice, data, autonomous mobility, and safety. Verizon Business and Zebra Technologies also launched device and software solutions to accelerate private 5G. Zebra packaged solutions enable frontline workers to manage projects and communications on jobsites. Select devices have multi-SIM capability for transition between an authenticated private network and Verizon’s public network. Zebra rugged enterprise tablets and mobile computers are purpose-built to simplify processes for frontline workers in transportation and logistics, retail, and manufacturing. Verizon Business further expanded deals for private 5G at the Port of Virginia with a new network at Norfolk International Terminal (NIT). The network includes Verizon Push to Talk Plus and highlights Verizon’s Private 5G scalability and applicability in data-rich industrial environments. It will cover 270 acres of the NIT campus with dedicated spectrum, replacing outdoor Wi-Fi and enabling secure, voice, text and data communication.

 T-Mobile recently described its network slicing initiatives as reinforcing its leadership position amongst mobile operators in private 5G, noting that it is now being used to help businesses or big events requiring a guaranteed level of speed and reliability. It pointed to November 2023’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, in which T-Mobile set up a private network to connect 230 concession terminals at the venue to back-end systems, enabling consumers to buy food without network hiccups, and supporting a high level of financial activity. T-Mobile also became the first of the US mobile operators to integrate with private network CBRS infrastructure provider Celona, for access to the latter’s Neutral Host service. T-Mobile customers (using its Bring Your Own Connection option) using the service will see better connectivity, faster data speeds in-building, and seamless connectivity as they walk in and out of a facility.

European Operators

Deutsche Telekom tested its “cell tower to go” with enterprises, offering flexible mobile coverage for company premises, large construction sites or events. Companies are testing the prototype for free with a commercial offer expected later this year. The growing demand for mobile communication requires always-available reliable coverage. This also applies to short-term requirements at festivals or large construction sites. Deutsche Telekom developed a prototype, the “cell-tower-to-go”, which has become a customer favourite, with a dozen companies testing the solution. Deutsche Telekom further deployed a 5G SA campus network for the Helmut Schmidt University of the Federal Armed Forces in Hamburg, Germany. Partners from science and industry will also use the 5G test bed to trial digital applications. The university is researching the use of wireless connections for industrial production and business processes, and the interplay between real-time networking of sensors, actuators and cyber-physical systems.

BT and Ericsson went live at the Port of Tyne, for the UK’s first site-wide 5G private network deployment, using smart port technology across the estate. Future 5G-enabled applications are set to include autonomous vehicles, survey drones, smart surveillance, AI, and extended reality (XR). Low latency connectivity will fuel a long-term vision to streamline operations, improve safety, reduce carbon emissions, and drive innovation in the maritime industry.

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O₂ Telefónica Germany is equipping a new multifunctional SAP Garden sports arena in Munich with a modern 5G network. Sports fans at the 11,500-seat venue in Munich’s Olympic Park will benefit from high data transfer rates and short response times when surfing the O2 network. O2 Telefónica will also provide its partner, Red Bull Stadion München GmbH, with a private 5G network via the mobile infrastructure, enabling digital applications such as real-time analytics and offering guaranteed bandwidth for TV cameras.

Orange Jordan established the first private 5G network in the Kingdom for the Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT). The network will serve ACT’s business requirements with the latest technologies and solutions, utilising Orange’s global expertise. Orange Jordan becomes the first communications provider in the Kingdom, as well as within the Orange Group in the Middle East and Africa, to deploy a private 5G network for business customers. The network in Aqaba will contribute to the attractiveness and competitiveness of the port area and offer an unprecedented quality of service to ACT in the industrial-port zone, with the possibility to develop new use cases.

Vodafone Business and Snam, Europe’s leader in natural gas, developed a hybrid 5G mobile private bringing connectivity to 23 of Snam’s plants. Snam is on a mission to guarantee stable and safe supplies of sustainable energy, to help accelerate energy transition in Italy. Vodafone also deployed a 5G SA private network at a Ford production plant in Valencia, Spain. The network will enable Ford to optimise production processes at its Almussafes factory, as well as those of suppliers. Vodafone Germany announced it is setting up a private 5G campus network for BASF Schwarzheide at its Lausitz production site. The campus network will be ready by the end of 2024. Potential applications include enabling real-time communication between sensors, machines, robots, and drones.