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NTT claims first globally available private 5G network-as-a-service platform

Next-generation mobile comms infrastructure to provide a suite of services to help chief information officers and chief digital officers drive business outcomes and unlock ‘innovative’ business models

Global technology and business solutions provider NTT has launched Private 5G platform (P5G), which it says is the first globally available private LTE/5G network-as-a-service platform.

In January 2021, research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted a boom for the private comms architectures for enterprises lasting until 2024 and in July 2021, a study from Kaleido Intelligence looking at the rapid uptake and future lucrative potential of private LTE and 5G networks observed that enterprise capex and opex spending on such infrastructures was set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 55% between 2019 and 2026, generating $7.3bn annually in 2026.

Looking at drivers for the private network uptake, the analyst said dedicated spectrum has been a driving force in the market, with regulators across the globe considering, and in many cases opening slices of dedicated LTE and 5G spectrum for enterprise internet of things (IoT) activities. It cited the US as a notable example, via its dynamically shared CBRS scheme.

With such benefits in mind, and targeting chief information officers and chief digital officers, NTT P5G offers an end-to-end stack of services that it says go beyond the network, using design thinking principles to integrate security, control and privacy by design, providing what NTT says are performance and cost benefits with a clear return on investment.

NTT says fuelling enterprise digital transformation with cloud-based economics and automation is at the heart of its vision for private 5G. The new platform is focused on driving the global acceleration of private 5G to meet the rapidly evolving needs of enterprises across industries, including automotive, manufacturing, healthcare and retail to create unprecedented alignment of data, connectivity, security and communications, it says.

NTT claims to be the only provider that offers a best-in-class global network, deep vertical expertise, and a full suite of application development and management capabilities.

Running on a cloud-native architecture, the new platform can be delivered via cloud, on-premise or at the edge. The platform is pre-integrated with network and software partners, allowing enterprises to secure, scale and segment their network flexibly. With patent-pending MicroSlicing technology, NTT P5G allows mission-critical apps to leverage the advantages of private 5G, says the company.

NTT believes that as data and mobility become more critical to business operations, 5G will enable enterprises to reinvent business operations. With faster speeds and more data, the company sees 5G facilitating advances in artificial intelligence, automation and IoT, critical features in how a company collects, stores and uses that data in real time.

“Global enterprises are looking for a single private 5G solution to deploy across multiple countries,” said Shahid Ahmed, NTT EVP new ventures and innovation, who has been charged with pioneering the Private 5G service portfolio. “They need one truly private network, one point of accountability, one management platform, and one solution partner that eliminates all the major friction points across the entire global footprint of the enterprise. Our NTT P5G offering supports many of the CXO requirements today, and we will continue to invest in P5G as enterprise adoption evolves.”

Ghassan Abdo, research vice-president at industry analyst IDC, added: “The private 5G technology has the potential to fundamentally change the way enterprises drive digital transformation. NTT has a strong track record of focusing on breadth of service, and NTT P5G capabilities extend far beyond basic connectivity to offer a comprehensive suite of services geared toward important business outcomes.” 

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