Illustration: © IoT For All A global mobile private network (MPN) might have seemed too complex to be possible just a few years ago. Still, I’m increasingly noticing that today’s enterprises are developing use cases that need this exact solution.
In fact, in part, down to the emergence of 5G, private network solutions are gaining momentum, as customers look for high performance and guaranteed service levels in every facility they have, regardless of its location.
Mobile Private Network solutions consist of a private Radio Access Network (RAN) and a private core mobile network; the combination of the two creates a truly private, secure, and high-performing network that answers the needs of modern enterprises, whether industrial, healthcare, automotive or logistics.
Here are the top reasons customers seek an MPN. Which ones strike a chord with you?
Enterprises need to know that they can operate their connected facilities anywhere, even in areas with poor or no coverage; some examples include hospitals, offshore oil rigs, or remote mining sites. For many new IoT-enabled use cases, ‘everywhere’ is a legitimate requirement, such as Fleet Management and Logistics organizations. This could be anything from rural areas to enclosed spaces or simply providing peace of mind when network failures occur. An intelligent MPN solution will enable employees to securely access corporate resources whether on-site, working from home, or abroad.
Modern enterprises have stringent requirements related to their throughput, for example, high bandwidth, while ensuring low latency. This is especially important with the emergence of Industrial IoT or Healthcare devices, where any impact on operations can take a toll on health and safety. The move from WiFi to cellular is a drive to get reliable service at all times.
A private network is an answer to this, providing high throughput at low latency, which in turn allows enterprises to guarantee a service level. Sophisticated solutions will allow a customer to create policies for the type of data traffic prioritized, set thresholds for latency to ensure performance and meet customer SLA, and make provisions for customers with a mass number of devices, especially important for IoT.
Compliance with Corporate Policies and Security
One of the requirements that mobile operators have a hard time complying with is adhering to the corporate policies and restrictions for both IT and security domains. However, when deploying a private network for an enterprise, such rules and policies can easily be met since the network serves that enterprise only and does not have to consider the needs of other enterprises or the general public.
Specialist security requirements are another common reason why enterprises look to utilize an MPN. Extending any internal policies to other devices in the field and to multiple locations globally is a real game-changer for enterprise solutions. The right full-stack connectivity solution will augment this with granular SIM-level security so that all devices have their own unique identifier on the network. If they are not authenticated, administrators can ensure that they are blocked from access, tightly controlling usage.
Another huge benefit of the right provider is the ability to split the traffic securely. In practice, this means that when an employee is working, the private campus core will be used, and when they switch to another non-work-related activity, a different packet gateway will be used. The communication will be diverted using the destination of the traffic, all behind the scenes. This dynamic means that performance, latency, and capacity are best-in-class where this is needed the most.
Taking the Wheel with Management and Control
Of course, a private network is only as good as what you can achieve with it. For enterprises, an MPN with a global core network is the only way to provide seamless roaming functionality without coming up against issues of compliance or regulations. I see many enterprises looking for this solution to leave the secure enterprise environment and continue work from home or on the go, or abroad. Even for highly regulated sectors such as Healthcare or Finance, your enterprise data will never leave in a private network.
Inside the network, an MPN also gives enterprises the flexibility necessary to build granular policies on how data is accessed and transferred without MNO intervention. These can be changed over time to meet business strategy and across multiple facilities, for example – which devices can access the company intranet, or which users can access specific file servers, and from where. With an MPN, enterprises can set up rules that meet corporate or IT policies and know that these are being handled behind the scenes, without the need for MNO input every time a new device or employee joins the network.
Opening Doors for Sophisticated Enterprise Use Cases
As the connectivity market continues to expand, enterprises are looking for highly flexible, cost-effective solutions to meet specific use cases. These vary from tight regulatory requirements, strict security needs, and specific conditions for performance, mobility, and coverage.