Growing use of private mobile networks in industry is being fuelled by multi-site deployments in manufacturing, warehousing and mining.
The private mobile network market grew 62 per cent year-on-year in 2022 despite the tough economic climate, accounting for $2.7 billion in infrastructure revenue. This will grow to over $10 billion by 2027, according to CCS Insight’s latest Spotlight report. North America and Europe are the largest global markets but Asia–Pacific is expected to catch up over the next few years with India highlighted as a vital market.
India presents a lucrative opportunity in the enterprise market now that 5G spectrum has finally been given the go-ahead there. Given India’s growth potential, it will be a hot market to watch over the next 18 months. CCS Insight also forecasts that deployments in Asia–Pacific will grow 68 per cent year-on-year in 2023 and even catch up with North America by 2027. This is because of the formers’ large addressable market of manufacturing sites.
Richard Webb, director of infrastructure at CCS Insight, said: “Private mobile networks are a red-hot topic, and the technology is taking a meaningful foothold in the market for wireless connectivity. There are a growing number of deployment options available to enterprises in different industries and sizes, fuelling growth. In addition to many new customers adopting their first private networks, more companies are rolling out networks throughout multiple sites following successful trials. Our research shows there are an average of 2.1 private mobile networks per customer, excluding larger nationwide deployments.”
Europe, the Middle East and Africa is the largest region by number of unique customers, with the bulk of organisations trialling the technology. However, North America has the most commercial deployments. Asia–Pacific is the third-largest region, with China contributing a much higher number of hybrid and virtual private networks, which piggyback on public mobile networks, than other markets
Luke Pearce, senior analyst at CCS Insight, added: “The success of Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum in the US has helped the country become a leader in private mobile network deployments, simplifying the route to market by offering predictable access to spectrum. More than 20 countries now have dedicated spectrum of this sort, and more are expected to release it over the next 12 months. CCS Insight believes this will be a catalyst for further growth.
With a tough economic climate forecast for 2023, there is a concern that the cost of investing in private mobile network infrastructure will prompt some enterprises to delay orders or scale back commercialisation. However, CCS Insight believes that private mobile networks will maintain healthy traction given the cost efficiencies they can deliver. Pearce observed: “Geopolitically vulnerable sectors such as power utilities and military and defence present significant growth opportunities in 2023 as they use increased funding to modernise and optimise their communications infrastructure.”
Looking further ahead, total revenue for private mobile network infrastructure is expected to reach a compound annual growth rate of 37 per cent between 2022 and 2027, and rise to $10.5 billion in the same period.