Private mobile networks, powered by 5G
A confluence of factors is driving the practicality of private enterprise mobile Networks. The convergence of 5G, MEC, and the cloud now makes it possible to create private wireless networks that are ultra-fast, secure, scalable, and can take advantage of powerful cloud applications for analytics.
Yet, for all the advantages of a 5G private network, challenges remain for operators and enterprises. First and foremost is the complexity of deploying and managing a 5G network within the enterprise environment. Many telco operators lack the technology portfolio to deploy 5G networks and cloud edge computing within the enterprise environment.
Path to private 5G networks
In considering how to deploy private 5G networks, enterprises will look favorably on mobile network operators as potential suppliers of the solution. Operators are viewed by enterprises as trusted partners in communications, and commercial relationships between them are already well established.
Critical attributes of a private mobile network
What does an effective private mobile network solution—one that operators and enterprises alike can feel confident in deploying—look like? The answer can be summarized in three key solution attributes.
- Managed connectivity
- Managed services
- Self-management options
An integrated approach with Azure
There are four critical components to a private mobile network: the local radio resources, the edge compute platform, the application ecosystem, and the cloud.
Today’s private mobile network solutions are often built as a collection of loosely integrated components. Microsoft offers operators a different approach: a fully integrated, yet open, private mobile network solution that features cloud-native mobile core technology, advanced edge computing, and a hyperscale cloud environment.
Microsoft’s approach to private mobile networks is a completely integrated solution from the mobile core to the edge to the cloud. This solution architecture has several key components: Azure Stack Edge, Affirmed Service Manager, Azure Network Function Manager, and Affirmed Mobile Core.
Microsoft’s cloud-based, MEC-enabled, fully integrated approach has clear benefits to operators looking to deploy private mobile networks, including:
- A carrier-grade network experience built on a proven 5G mobile core architecture
- A cloud-managed and operated solution hosted in a global, hyperscale cloud environment for tier one (and smaller) carriers
- Automated lifecycle management
- Service assurance that meets five nines of reliability and availability
- A multi-tenant model that allows operators to cost-effectively manage private network services through a single management console
- The ability to tap into powerful cloud and IoT applications, including Azure’s built-in AI and machine learning
- The flexibility to deploy the solution in a 4G-only, 5G-only, or hybrid 4G/5G environment, allowing enterprises to start with 4G and migrate seamlessly to 5G or deploy a hybrid 4G/5G private mobile network solution.
- A telco-grade solution that delivers the high-performance, high-availability, and low-latency that enterprises expect from their service providers.