China Unicom has announced it has deployed a total of 7,441 private 5G networks for businesses, representing triple-digit, year-on-year growth (138%). The news follows the announcement of a collaboration agreement between Nokia Bell Labs and Saudi Aramco to develop digital industry use cases for oil & gas, utilities, mining, manufacturing and logistics in the Middle East and North Africa.
Substantial growth in private 5G and cloud is expected to make a positive contribution to operator revenue growth this year. Mobile network technologies are increasingly seen as central to the digital transformation of industries, creating significant enterprise revenue opportunities for mobile operators across several sectors of the economy. According to GSMA Intelligence, mining, oil & gas and utilities are among operators’ top target segments for private networks. It comes as no surprise that enterprises such as Saudi Aramco are also attempting to capture new business opportunities in these areas.