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Private Wireless Has More than Earned Its Status as a Growth Sector. Here’s Why

Private wireless is a strong and rapidly growing growth opportunity in the 5G wireless space. That means it's an important growth opportunity for investors, enterprise customers and workers.
Private wireless
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at JeffKagan.com and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at JeffKagan.com and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.

Thanks to 5G, private wireless — a category of enterprise wireless that has been growing fast for decades — has been scaling new heights. In this column, I’ll take a close look at the category, its key players and and customers, and especially why its growth is accelerating and what to expect going forward.

It helps to think of private wireless as having three main sub-categories: public, private, and hybrid. Each provider may operate in one or more of these segments, depending on customer requirements. Indeed, private wireless was created because enterprise customers — hospitals, universities, corporates, and the like — were increasingly drawn to wireless but quickly discovered that they needed more than public wireless networks could offer.

What Private Wireless Offers

From the enterprise perspective, the problem with public wireless — delivered by companies like Verizon Wireless (VZ - $38.48 0.48 (1.263%)  ), T-Mobile (TMUS - $143.81 1.02 (0.714%)  ), AT&T Mobility (T - $19.00 0.28 (1.496%)  ) and smaller carriers — is its lack of security and control. Public wireless is great for the masses, who are all over the map (literally), but not for organizations, which are far likelier to have high demand for uptime, data protection, and compliance support.

That’s where private wireless shines. It lets enterprise customers create ”an owned” network that offers top-level security, dependable service, and complete control. Critically, even when networks are otherwise busy, senior-level executives on private wireless networks never lack the ability to connect and communicate.

A growing number of companies, large and small, is entering the space. (It’s important to note that some competitors offer a full range of services, while others focus on subset offerings.) Qualcomm (QCOM - $125.09 3.75 (3.09%)  ) recently partnered with Betacom to offer premium private 5G network services aka 5G-as-a-service. Ericsson offers its Cradlepoint service. Also in the mix: NTT, Juniper Networks, Nokia, AWS, Celona, Boingo, and quite a few others. And the roster continues to grow.

Private wireless is also a growth opportunity for public wireless networks like Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. They smell the opportunity and are now moving in. And some cable television companies — Comcast (CMCSA - $36.95 0.50 (1.372%)  ), Charter (CHTR - $349.71 4.17 (1.207%)  ), Altice (ATUS - $3.16 0.11 (3.607%)  ) and others — have entered the space and are offering these services via their mobile brands like Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile and Optimum. These companies do not own their own network. Instead, they are resellers like an MVNO.

Choosing the Best Solution

Choosing the best company to do business with is always the question. First, you must determine the size customer you are and the demands you will put on the network. Next, you need to find a company who you connect well with and who understands you. A provider who specializes in what you need and will growth with you going forward.

As you can see, private wireless networks are a new and rapidly growing sector. Over time, this growth will continue to evolve and change, and certain companies will become leaders in the space.

But for now, there are many companies battling it out in the marketplace for dominance. And it will be this way for quite a while.

Private wireless is a strong and rapidly growing growth opportunity in the 5G wireless space. Something that is worth looking more deeply into. That means it’s an important growth opportunity for investors, enterprise customers and workers. As an investment, private wireless is just hitting its stride. I fully expect growth to continue and competition to heat up.

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