Private networks continue to come of age

AT&T has trialled its 5G private network capabilities with the US Department of Defense to enable more efficient operations, beginning with the US Navy. The trial was held in San Diego and involved a local 5G private network underpinning use cases including AR and VR-based personnel training, logistical support for equipment, and pre-emptive maintenance (reducing labour call-outs). This builds on previous partnerships between operators and the military, highlighting that 5G can support mission-critical applications – as evidenced by speeds of nearly 4 Gbps and sub-10 ms latency achieved in the trial.

For AT&T and other mobile operators, private networks are a key means of monetising network infrastructure in enterprise settings such as factories, warehouses, ports and transit hubs. Trials such as this, along with subsequent case studies and proof points highlighting the value-add of 5G in these settings, will be key to scaling the technology.

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