MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA – NTT Data’s private 5G implementation with Schneider Electric in Berlin is another example of how NTT Data is competing against mobile network operators in the private 5G space.

NTT Data and Schneider Electric today unveiled a solution that integrates edge, private 5G, IoT and modular data centers for tenants at the Marienpark complex in Berlin. The site spans about 74 acres and the deployment will focus on delivering enhanced connectivity and compute for users across the campus.

It follows an earlier 5G implementation at Schneider Electric’s smart factory in Lexington, Kentucky, where NTT and Schneider showcased private 5G, IoT, edge analytics and predictive analytics to drive energy efficiency and sustainability goals. That deployment used CBRS.

The implementation in Berlin uses 3.5 GHz spectrum, said Parm Sandhu, VP of enterprise 5G products and services at NTT Data.

Keying into enterprise

The NTT Corp. itself probably is not as well known to a lot of consumers outside of Japan but the NTT Data brand, which is focused on IT infrastructure and services, is well-known to many American enterprises, he said. A couple years ago, NTT Group in Japan combined its overseas businesses operated by NTT Data, NTT Inc. and NTT Ltd. into one cohesive group.

In the U.S., NTT Data’s competitors range from small companies to mobile operators.

The challenge for operators is enterprise users typically want their own dedicated networks and the operators can’t give them as much control as they want, Sandhu said.

Venues like large-scale stadiums are good for service providers like Verizon, but “I think it’s very difficult for them to meet the requirements of the enterprise because these networks are deeply integrated into the enterprise LAN,” he said.

A different slice

While mobile operators in the U.S. are still trying to get a handle on network slicing, NTT Data is doing something it calls micro slicing, which uses the same industry standards but provides the enterprise with the ability to apply different quality of service (QoS) requirements for different applications, “so it really takes advantage of the 5G capability, but fully under the control of the enterprise inside their own network,” he said.

For example, an enterprise customer could put all of their tablets on one slice and mission-critical applications on another slice.

“It gives them the ability to segment the network,” from a security point of view as well as creating different slices for devices or applications. Customers like it and NTT believes it’s unique to its offering, he said.

NTT also operates a global MVNO called Transatel that NTT bought almost five years ago. It uses the cell sites of multiple carriers in 190 countries. (In the U.S., it’s using the networks of T-Mobile and AT&T.)

That’s also unique, he said, and it offers roaming so that an enterprise can use the same devices on the wider public network as their own private network.

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