5G private network has become the spotlight for enterprises
Today, many of the biggest businesses across the globe are opting for a private 5G network – either by creating and maintaining their own 5G network utilizing their own purchased spectrum or by buying their own network infrastructure while taking operational support from mobile operators on contractual agreements. 5G private network is largely preferred for industrial environments like logistics centers, mining and manufacturing plants, and ports.
Technical Challenges of the 5G Testing
Deploying such a network involves technical challenges as given below:
- Since 5G uses a higher range of frequency, it can be transmitted only to a shorter distance which increases the demand for setting up cell towers in huge numbers on the target location for imparting seamless network connectivity.
- A wide and diverse set of applications and solutions are required to test an entire data-centric 5G network in standalone testing.
- Continuous monitoring with automated test solutions will be essentially required for testing and analysing network performance.
- With the use of new technologies such as SDN/NFV and cloud computing for 5G development, new test solutions for these technologies will evolve which need to be addressed to function properly.
How secured is a private network?
While developing private networks for 4G LTE / 5G, no matter whatever technology is applied to build it, users are guaranteed pervasive mobility in a long term. Top-notch performance, reliability, and network connections, wide coverage, and a large number of devices connected through IoT technology across different enterprise locations are some of the exciting benefits that will be provided to enterprise customers and consumers with a private network. In order to deliver private 5G, deployment of both RAN network and Core network are required, on virtual/cloud infrastructure and based on new principles of architecture like O-RAN on the edge of the network and Service Based Architecture (SBA) in the core.
Since many 5G applications will need low latency, computing resources would require to be placed adjacent to 5g test equipment as much as possible, i.e. Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) technology would be added. Other important elements that will be required are Radio Frequency (RF) planning, integration of IT and public cloud, along with overall support and maintenance services. Every element needs to be secured as well as gathering and storing of sensitive information and data by the network. Security professionals try to safeguard all new endpoints of mobile connections with the first step of securing the bandwidth that is required to run these private networks.
Readiness and preparation for cybersecurity are at the top priority even more than the availability of spectrum, timelines of network rollout, and consistency in latency. It has the greatest potential to drive the deployment and operational activities of new-age private networks like 5G and 4G LTE.
Network testing is imperative to enable the full potential of 5G private network
Excellent 5G network coverage with outstanding Quality of Experience (QoE) cannot be achieved if testing is not done properly. It is nothing but just an investigation operators/service providers conduct to make sure each network configuration designed and implemented is in sync and performing without any interruption. However, it is necessary to define all present assets in the network and devise an appropriate strategy for assessment.
While undergoing 5G network testing activities, any type of errors such as delay in response time, interferences in base stations, and components not functional can be addressed and fixed then and there itself to give users the best network quality with enhanced capacity and coverage. With the huge demand for a 5G private network across various industries worldwide, many small companies are giving a helping hand as service providers to build a 5G private network. They are deploying a comprehensive suite of network testing solutions to check the network performance of paths of radio frequencies (RF) whether they are receiving desired output signals or not, checking for noise in signals, etc. Further, testing professionals nowadays are using modern intelligent techniques to gather information on security and other confidential technical data that can be used to access the network. Testing helps in strengthening the network and with the addition of strict security measures, it can be protected from any kind of breaches that may come up in near future. Thus, network testing is imperative for delivering seamless, reliable, and secured on-site network connectivity to users.
The fifth-generation technology, 5G has a great potential in serving the connectivity needs of a big array of organizations and industry verticals with 24X7 network availability. It is also enhancing the development of Industry 4.0 as enterprises are embracing it to digitize their critical business operations and looking to invest in the 5G private network. The need for wireless connectivity is continuously increasing with rising new use cases. Having said that, network testing becomes crucial and after conducting rigorous testing, commercialized private 5G networks can offer stringent end-to-end transmissions, with deterministic delivery of data packets and less delay in receiving responses. By applying new-age technologies and bringing more innovation in the wireless space, network testing will give a high performance of the network to improve organizational productivity and efficiency for the long term.