German operator Deutsche Telekom is touting a new private 5G networking solution to enterprises that own their own spectrum.

It’s essentially an upgrade to its Campus Network M product, a core networking solution that enables enterprises to carry data from mission-critical applications on a dedicated private network slice while relying on the public 5G network for non-critical comms use by employees, suppliers and customers.

This new version, Campus-Netz M with Industrial Frequencies, adds support for local 5G spectrum. This has the benefit of enabling a truly private 5G network – that can be sliced and diced as needed – without enterprises having to deploy their own core infrastructure. It can also be used in tandem with public 5G spectrum, providing additional capacity for mission-critical network traffic, for example.

Germany is one of a handful of markets to have assigned a chunk of frequencies (in the 3.7 GHz-3.8 GHz band) for local 5G networks, giving companies an opportunity to operate private infrastructure that uses their own spectrum. By February 2022, German telco regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), said it had assigned 200 local 5G licences.

This approach has the potential to relegate mobile operators down the enterprise and industrial mobility value chain because their role as the gatekeeper that charges for access to spectrum is gone. They have to be canny to compensate, leveraging their expertise in systems integration and managed services to become trusted partners to CTIOs that might be stepping outside their comfort zone by rolling out their own cellular networks.

There’s a sizeable chunk of change at stake. Separate reports from ABI Research show that private 5G connections in the manufacturing and industrial sector will reach 49 million by the end of the decade, generating connectivity revenues of $2.4 billion. However, revenue from professional services for the entire private enterprise networking market is expected to reach $47 billion by 2030. It seems clear from these predictions where the biggest opportunity lies.

DT’s new campus 5G offering gives it a shot at capturing connectivity revenue from private 5G networking over local spectrum, while also giving it a role as a managed services provider.

“Our new 5G Campus network offering enables our customers to digitalise and optimise their business in a smarter way. By integrating their own spectrum into local 5G networks in a cost-efficient way, companies now get additional and exclusive 5G bandwidth for their digital applications,” said Hagen Rickmann, managing director responsible for business customers at DT, in a statement on Tuesday.

DT trialled the solution with injection moulding machine manufacturer Arburg in January. Machines at Arburg’s facility were equipped with routers and SIM cards that enabled them to connect to the campus network over Arburg’s own dedicated frequencies, rather than the public network.

“Without any additional structural measures, we were able to build on the existing campus network and can benefit from even more 5G bandwidth for the digitalisation of our machines and systems with our own 5G industrial frequencies,” said a statement from Jürgen Boll, Arburg’s managing director of finance, controlling and IT.

“Our pilot customer Arburg is already benefiting from the huge potential of private 5G performance for smart manufacturing – and is thus living up to its reputation as pioneer in the fields of production efficiency and digitalisation,” added DT’s Rickmann.

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