Verizon goes global with private 5G network

Looking to allow organisations to take advantage of a dedicated next-generation network, and in what it says is part of its continued investment in such infrastructures and its network-as-a-service strategy, Verizon Business has launched its international private 5G platform for global enterprises located in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Delivered in partnership with Nokia, the offering is designed to enable businesses to deploy what the communications services provider says will be an industrial-grade dedicated 5G network capability within their premises.

In addition to the ultra-low latency and increased speed intrinsic to all 5G networks, Verizon Business said a key benefit of a private network is the ability for firms, particularly those with manufacturing, distribution and logistics facilities, to deploy a customised on-site mobile network, eliminating the need to transmit data through public networks.

Assessing the context in which the launch s being made, Martina Kurth, associate vice-president of IDC’s European Telco Research, said private networks were appearing as a major use case for the uptake of 5G.

We’re seeing international markets moving rapidly to deploy 5G Private Networks, particularly to capitalise on 5G investments in the enterprise market,” she said. “With the ingredients of an early mover go-to-market 5G-know-how, foundational enterprise networking and innovative 5G enabled services will be an attractive solution to the broader market.” 

The private 5G network will comprise a self-contained network whose components all reside in a single facility, consisting of micro towers and small cells, and connecting to an organisation’s local area network (LAN) and enterprise applications. It will use Nokia’s Digital Automation Cloud, a private wireless network solution with automation enablers that will allow for application deployment through a web-based interface.

“If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that there’s never been a more critical time for mobility, broadband and cloud products and services,” said Verizon Business CEO Tami Erwin. “Private 5G networks will be a transformative technology that will drive the new era of disruption and innovation for enterprises around the world.”

The launch of private 5G is part of a strategy for Verizon Media to deliver its next-generation content creation, production and distribution technologies at scale and in real-time to global audiences for customers.

In February 2020, it announced that it was offering its first 5G-enabled development and collaboration space outside the US in the form of a 5G lab and production studio in London to support its international business and media customers. The facility’s aim is to showcase existing 5G use cases and experiences and offer a co-creation space for 5G-enabled application development. It is designed to offer technology innovators a space to grow the 5G ecosystem.

Also earlier in 2020 it announced a 5G roaming service in South Korea and is a founding member of the 5G Future Forum, a group of global 5G leaders accelerating the delivery of 5G and interoperable mobile edge computing (MEC)-enabled solutions. The new announcement follows recent MEC partnership announcements with Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and AWS. 

For Nokia, the partnership with Verizon comes hot on the heels of inking a deal with the carrier’s arch rival AT&T to offer end-to-end industrial-grade capabilities to its own private cellular networks especially those that see use in Industry 4.0 applications.

Commenting on the latest deal, Brian R. Fitzgerald, senior vice-president of global solutions at Nokia, said: “Private wireless connectivity has become central to many industries in realising their long-term digital transformation goals. By delivering private 5G together with Verizon, we’re paving the way to accelerate digitisation for the most demanding industries who crave reliable wireless connectivity.”

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