Verizon, AT&T pounce on private-networking opportunity
AT&T and Verizon are putting all the pieces in place to capitalize on what some believe could be an enormous business opportunity: building private wireless networks for enterprises and other organizations. According to Harbor Research, private IoT and 5G networks globally will have a total addressable market (TAM) of $208 billion by 2025.
Both Verizon and AT&T have been culling together partnerships with equipment manufacturers such as Nokia and Ericsson and cloud providers like Microsoft Azure to make it easier for enterprise customers to build a private wireless network. And the FCC’s recent CBRS spectrum auction, which included enterprises and universities, has made it even more appealing for organizations to build private networks.
Executives from both AT&T and Verizon said that these private networks could be built using either 4G or 5G technology but they expect 5G will play a significant role.
Not only will enterprises be able to select which air interface technology to use, they will also have a choice of spectrum. “We expect this will move beyond just the CBRS spectrum,” said Srini Kalapala, VP of technology strategy and global cloud at Verizon. In fact, Kalapala and AT&T’s Robert Boyanovsky, VP of mobility and IoT, both said that they envision enterprises using licensed or unlicensed CBRS spectrum, or even the operator’s own spectrum holdings, for their networks.
“We think 2020 is about the proof of the concept,” Boyanovsky said. “Both enterprises and operators are trying to figure out what customers want and what the pricing models will be.”
Verizon recently announced a deal with Microsoft Azure in which the operator will integrate its 5G Edge network with Azure edge services to support private 5G networks for enterprise customers. But Verizon’s Kalapala said that the Azure deal isn’t exclusive and Verizon could ink other cloud deals.
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