ABI Research is downbeat on private networks in Germany

Germany
Germany accounts for about one-half of the world's private wireless networks, but uptake is slowing in the country. (Getty Images)

According to ABI Research, interest in private wireless networks is fading in Germany.

ABI Research says there are more than 290 publicly-disclosed private network deployments worldwide. Germany accounts for 146 licenses granted to enterprises for the deployment of a mobile private network, while other European countries are lagging far behind. And apparently, the applications for new private wireless networks are slowing down in Germany, as well.

There were more than 80 new applications for local licenses in the second half of 2020, but there were only 20 more applications in the second quarter of 2021.

According to the research firm, the majority of private wireless networks in Germany have been set up by system integrators or vendors to showcase their 5G products. “Most private network deployments in Germany are essentially sales-driven, and only a few deployments are really used to enhance enterprise workflows and operations,” said senior ABI analyst Leo Gergs, in a statement.

Gergs argues that the telco industry in Germany needs to embrace spectrum liberalization initiatives, “which allow enterprises access to license or share mobile network spectrum without having to go through a traditional mobile network operator.” He said more of these initiatives are being implemented, which shows regulators’ willingness to create favorable conditions.

“However, regulators can only do part of the job,” he said. “It is now up to CSPs, infrastructure vendors, chipset manufacturers and system integrators to accept their responsibility and deliver on what enterprises have been promised from the beginning.”

Private wireless in the U.S.

Fierce has been keeping track of the nascent private wireless networks ecosystem in the U.S., which has been propelled by the auction of Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum and the spectrum-sharing scheme for the three tiers of CBRS.

U.S. carriers are dabbling in private wireless to a certain extent, but other companies, particularly the spectrum access system (SAS) administrators are especially driving the uptake. The SAS administrators are Federated Wireless, Google, CommScope, Amdocs, Sony and Key Bridge Wireless.

RELATED: Anterix, Federated Wireless pair 900 MHz with CBRS for utilities

Earlier this week, AT&T said it is installing a 5G private network, using millimeter wave spectrum, at the University of Tennessee to explore 5G use cases for rural areas, digital learning experiences, and military applications.

Today, 5G Americas published a white paper “Private and Enterprise Networks,” discussing the various operating model options faced by private or enterprise operators.