5G Private Networks and 5G Use Cases Networks of the Future

Praschant Chugh
Praschant Chugh

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Table of Contents

Customer Experience 5G Private Networks Introductory Blog

What is all the noise about 5G Use Cases and Private Networks

A key theme in the current decade of mobile industry are private 5G cellular networks. Early private networks and networks relying on macro coverage are initially 4G-based as the transitioning to 5G matures. Greenfield isolated private networks are typically 5G stand-alone based.

There are endless use cases for Private Networks. With 5G radio bands becoming available for private network usage only, the demand for dedicated private networks increases.

Every Private Network comes with different requirements on the network. A one-size-fits-all packet data network will not be capable to cope with future data volumes and application requirements.

To accommodate the diversity of the data networks, the CISCO Private Network solution addresses these demands considering the key drivers highlighted in this article.

Private 5G networks have gained traction worldwide as regulators allocate more spectrum to enterprises to establish their own private 5G networks. This is a progressive opportunity for companies that require 5G capabilities to implement their transformative applications. Now innovative digital transformation will drive smart factories and the internet of things.

Industry 1.0 to Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is synonymous with the fourth industrial revolution and foresees the digital transformation of production, manufacturing, and related industries. It represents a new phase in the industrial value chain organization, control, and value creation processes.

Role of 5G Networks

Dive deep into your imagination and seek a world where smart homes can unlock doors just by scanning your face, automatically adjust lighting and temperature, a world where chronic diseases are managed 24-7 and where accidents are a thing of the past. You can imagine that the fifth generation of wireless technology promises more than just a fast network.

It will not only help you redefine the network but also establish a new global wireless standard for speed. A 5G network builds a bridge to the future. This technology is not just a new generation of wireless technology, it is a 5G foundation to release the full potential of IoT thus revolutionizing technological growth.

Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report says by 2022, 5G subscriptions will cross the one-billion mark.

Global Adoption of 5G by 2026

Global Adoption of 5G by 2026

  • In 2030, the forecasted total number of 5G internet of things (IoT) units sold, business to business, is 44.8 million. Of these, almost half are expected to come from industry 4.0 applications, also known as smart factories.

  • Connected cars is projected to become the largest segment of the global 5G Internet of Things (IoT) endpoint market, with an installed base market share of 39 percent by 2023, the equivalent to 19 million endpoints.

  • Due to the increase in 5G users, the industry anticipated to benefit the most economically is information and communications with an estimated $251 billion contribution to the U.S. GDP between 2021 and 2025. Real estate and business services industries are expected to contribute $190 billion and $187 billion, respectively, in the next five years.

The new era of private LTE/5G can open multiple opportunities for multiple applications with a different class of service. Global enterprise organizations, utilities and mining industries, airports, ports, sport facilities, campuses and more are already adopting this amazing technology, reducing costs, and increasing efficiency.

Target addressable market by various key Industries is around 57 Billion USD as shown in the graph below

Now that we are aware about what private networks in 5G technologies can pull off. Let us look into the advantages and 5G Use cases bring to the table in detail.

What Are the Advantages Of 5G And Use Cases?

1. Greater speed in transmissions

Speed in transmissions can reach 15 to 20 Gbps. With the help of the newfound speed we can access data, files, programs etc on remote applications.

2. Increased number of devices connected

5G impact on IoT is clearly the increased number of devices that can be connected to the network. All connected devices are able to communicate with each other in real-time and exchange information to drive different outcomes based on type of data.

3. Lower latency

In simple words, latency is the time that passes between the order given to your smart device till the action occurs. Thanks to 5G this time will be ten times less than what it was in 4G. For example: Due to lower latency the use of sensors can be increased in industrial plants. Be it control of machinery, control over logistics or remote transport all is now possible.

4. Network slicing

5G implements virtual networks and creates subnets such that the network connection is adjusted as per the specific requirements. By creating subnetworks, some specific characteristics are given to a part of the network. The programmable network will prioritize connections, in case of emergencies by allocating different latencies in the connection. You are now familiar with the advancements and advantages that applications of IoT in 5G can offer. So, let’s discuss how this wave of new technology is coming up with an endless number of use cases

5G Technology Use Cases

Example of 5G Use Cases for Various Industries

Example of 5G Use Cases for Various Industries

AR/VR

It should be noted that AR/VR is not a vertical industry in itself. Instead AR/VR use cases can be found in almost all of the vertical industries. However, these use cases are so important that they are discussed in a separate section. Augmented Reality (AR) is a technique where the real world view is augmented, or assisted, by a computer generated views, this can be in single or multi-sensory modes including, auditory, visual, and haptic.

Virtual Reality (VR) is the technology to construct a virtual environment, which may be based on the real environment within which people could have real-time interaction.

Automotive

Cellular vehicle-to-everything (CV2X) is considered as one of the most prominent use cases for 5G, and the automotive industry has been one of the first verticals that engaged with the communications technology industry. CV2X aims to enable communication amongst vehicles (referred to Vehicle to Vehicle or V2V) as well as communication between vehicles and an infrastructure. Not only CV2X will create new business opportunities for OEMs, e.g. providing in-car infotainment service, but will also increases road safety.

This type of use cases requires direct data exchange between vehicle and application servers via mobile systems. Such services normally focus on providing a more pleasant driving experience both for driver and passengers so they are not safety-critical and can be delivered using mobile broadband (MBB) connectivity.

Examples include: music, movies, live TV streaming, audio/video conference streaming (office-in- car), online gaming, web browsing.

Energy

The energy vertical has some very specific requirements on the supporting communication solutions that go beyond what current LTE can provide. The business potential of introducing 5G Network Slicing in the energy domain is exceptionally high, as it is expected to provide the necessary support not only to the critical machine type communication (MTC)

Applications of energy grid protection and control, but also to the massive volume of MTC type applications of the emerging smart metering.

Smart Grid

Due to the urgent demands of smart grids, an efficient and reliable communication network solution is expected. The backbone network domain is a typical network in which terminals are in the high and extra high voltage area. The terminals of a backhaul network are in the medium voltage area. As for the access network, the end points are in the low voltage area. A large amount of growing demand happens in the medium-voltage and low-voltage domains, which are secondary substations and distributed energy resources, between primary substations and secondary substations. At this moment, there is a lack of energy measurement and communications system between substations. 5G Network Slicing could be an economical and efficient wireless solution compared with a traditional fibre-based communication system.

Healthcare

The health & wellness industry is about to change dramatically thanks to the availability and usage of electronic processes and communication technology. This change will be driven by demographical changes and the resulting growing costs as well as the growing demand for flexible and individual treatment.

Remote surgery

In this use case medical devices are controlled remotely allowing off site surgeons to operate on a patient. This is probably the use case with the most demanding requirements in terms of latency, reliability and guaranteed quality of service. It is unlikely that the early deployments of 5G networks will have sufficient capabilities to support the functionality required by remote surgery.

Industry 4.0, Manufacturing

The “Fourth Industrial Revolution” or Industry 4.0 is set to fundamentally change the manufacturing industry. The main drivers are improvements in terms of flexibility, versatility, resource efficiency, cost efficiency, worker support, and quality of industrial production and logistics.

To achieve the required flexibility, wireless connectivity (as a substitute for the wire-bound connectivity available in today’s factories) is essential. Generally speaking, Industry 4.0 use cases have very demanding requirements, e.g. in terms of latency, synchronicity and availability

Cisco 5G Private Networks Space

Enterprises are looking to 5G technology to further their digital transformation, including the promise of the industry 4.0 era. Multiple vertical markets are considering a private 5G network to address their need for clean-spectrum high bandwidth, low latency, higher availability, and increased visibility. These companies must strike a balance between the benefits of a private 5G network and the realities of purchasing, operating, and maintaining such a network.

Cisco Private 5G is delivered as a service offering to provide all the benefits of a private 5G network while minimizing the risk of heavy upfront costs (Capex investment) and its intuitive dashboard eliminates the operational headaches that come with private network ownership. Cisco Private 5G is a future-proof way to deploy cellular service, complementing and enhancing existing networks and providing trusted coverage and mobility across unique business-critical environment.

Benefits

Cisco Private 5G offers more than 5G connectivity. It provides application awareness and identity management to identify end devices and applications while aligning in-depth understanding for building use case–specific policy and security that is unmatched in the industry.

Cisco Private 5G provides the following benefits:

  • Operational simplicity – Easy user interface for service and device visibility
  • SLA management – Cloud-based configuration and monitoring services assets
    • Application awareness and identity management
  • 24/7 support – SLA assurance – 99.999% service availability
  • Cloud managed, high performance
  • Trusted and secure
  • Investment protection – Eliminates obsolescence
    • Seamless software and firmware upgrades included

The Cisco Advantage

Business customers want private network models to address their own specific business objectives. Cisco Private 5G is a full-service offering designed to provide maximum benefits while minimizing the work and expense associated with private network ownership. With CISCO service, operator can offer all this with greater simplicity and minimal capital expense.

Cisco’s leadership in enterprise, service provider, and cloud operator segments positions CISCO Partner as valuable private 5G and private network partner. Cisco’s service-based architecture enables new applications and business models to be implemented faster and easier.

Cisco’s contribution in 5G Private network Space is crucial b/c we are providing the core platform, the 4G/5G NFs and the management of those NFs as a service. This allows the partners to define and deploy the service much quicker than if they had to deal with all the NFs themselves.

The Cisco Automation for 5G as a Service Solution

Given the need for automation to build an effective 5G service model , various industry players including Cisco are advocating a model-driven approach. At the highest level, a model driven approach relies on a network model for a network function or a network domain. It’s usually described in human- readable form using a Yang definition. Once a model is available, it can be consumed using the network configuration manager system which can then use Netconf to configure either the network function directly or a network domain.

Yang models are stackable. This observation is key to the scalability of Netconf/Yang driven resource configuration management (sometimes called orchestration,).

Yang models are also useful in implementing NFV clouds because they can be consumed by Network Function Virtualization Orchestrators (NFVO). In addition, Yang models are extremely useful in managing containerized functions and even Kubernetes clusters in the cloud-native deployments that use Docker and Kubernetes.⁹.

Cisco is successfully deploying the Netconf/Yang automation architecture using Cisco Network Services Orchestrator. The below diagram shows the automation framework of CISCO. Same framework has been used in CRAN as well as for CISCO Packet core deployments…

The Cisco 5G Security Aspects

5G is susceptible to many of the same cybersecurity risks found in today’s existing telecommunications and enterprise networks. Moreover, 5G is subject to new avenues of attack against core network services due to its complex ecosystem of technologies, stakeholders, and operations. Fundamentally, 5G architecture is based on decomposed, virtualized, and distributed network functions. These functions rely on containerized applications, open interfaces, and orchestration platforms to coordinate service delivery. Taken together, these infrastructure abstractions expose new points of attack and lead to challenges in implementing and managing security controls in a highly virtualized environment.

Recommendations for Mitigating 5G Cybersecurity Risks

5G leverages many of the same technologies and architectural approaches used in building modern enterprise networks and cloud services. However, with few 5G network deployments so far, established cybersecurity best practices and architectural patterns have yet to emerge. As such, 5G deployments should build on mature cybersecurity standards employed in enterprise and cloud environments. Examples include the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and ISO Information Security Management System series. Operators should also leverage internationally-recognized product testing, assurance, and certification regimes (such as the Common Criteria) to enable the deployment and use of trustworthy products. With international and 3GPP standards as a security baseline, 5G operators should adopt the following six, key cybersecurity recommendations as part of an architectural strategy for addressing the risks described above with the overall goal of reducing the attack surface, continuously mitigating threats, and protecting data and privacy.

Treat 5G infrastructure as an untrusted environment and explicitly authenticate and authorize interactions between all assets in all areas (workforce, workplace, and workloads5) - both inside and outside the network - prior to allowing access; secure and limit interactions to the minimum necessary; and continuously monitor asset security posture, adjusting access rights accordingly.

Key capabilities include:

1. Zero Trust

  • Asset Hardening:
  • Reduce the attack surface for each asset by following best practices to lock down local access controls, configurations, and services.
  • Ubiquitous Authentication and Authorization:
  • Authenticate and authorize access between all assets taking into account contextual factors that include user identity, device type, and geographical and/or network access location. Non-user assets such as machine devices and application workloads can leverage certificate- based authentication and authorization.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Use multiple, strong methods to authenticate and authorize user access to assets (e.g. account name + password + one-time token) taking into account contextual factors that include device type and geographical and/or network location.
  • Asset Profiling: Validate and track the security posture of all assets, allowing or denying access based on assessed risk.
  • Traffic Encryption: Secure communications between all assets using strong encryption technologies.

2. Integrity

Validate vendor supply chain security and secure development practices, employ trustworthy products, and continuously monitor hardware, software, and operational integrity to detect and mitigate infrastructure and service tampering. Key capabilities include:

  • Vendor Security Assessment:
    Validate the strength of a vendor’s supply chain security program, secure product development and management lifecycle, vulnerability and data disclosure, and overall information security practices. It may also be prudent to verify product security through direct assessment and testing of the vendor’s design and implementation in vendor-managed facilities.
  • Secure Boot and Runtime:
    Ensure assets leverage secure boot processes based on anti-tamper technologies such as hardware trust anchors and software image signing to assure the authenticity and integrity of hardware and software components. Assets should employ runtime defenses to assure the integrity of running processes and mitigate memory-based attacks such as buffer overflows and code-injection.
  • Integrity Assurance:
    Continuously monitor hardware and software to validate integrity and detect tampering issues based on verifiable evidence that enables prompt corrective action.
  • Operational Integrity:
    Implement appropriate policies, governance, and operational practices to detect and prevent insider abuse.

3. Visibility

Enable full visibility across the infrastructure to identify all assets and continuously monitor asset security logs and anomalous behavior and communications patterns to reveal potential security risks. Key capabilities include:

  • Asset Monitoring:
    Enable security tracking, logging, telemetry, and centralized monitoring for all assets, including endpoint, network, and server devices and applications.
  • Anomaly Analysis:
    Leverage machine learning systems to monitor for and detect unusual asset behavior or communications patterns. As decryption of network traffic for threat inspection may impose unacceptable latency or violate privacy requirements, machine learning techniques should be tuned to detect anomalies in encrypted traffic flows as well.

4. Segmentation

Implement end-to-end segmentation to partition asset groups, reduce the attack surface, and limit the impact of compromise. Key capabilities include:

  • Software-Defined Segmentation:
    Place assets into logical security groups that leverage network-integrated access controls and policy services to limit communication flows between groups. 5G network slicing features should be leveraged as a component of an end-toend segmentation strategy.
  • Network and Application Firewalls:
    Implement firewall gateways to inspect and explicitly allow or deny transactions between critical assets or asset groups.

5. Threat Protection

Implement defensive security controls and continuous monitoring backed by machine learning capabilities, and establish incident response operations to detect and mitigate threats to assets. Key capabilities include:

  • Vulnerability Management:
    Adopt internationally-accepted standards and best practices on coordinated vulnerability disclosure and handling to effectively identify, mitigate, and remediate security vulnerabilities (e.g. software patching) in a timely manner.
  • Denial-of-Service Defense Systems:
    Monitor network traffic to detect and mitigate network flooding attacks.
  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems:
    Monitor network traffic to detect and mitigate unauthorized access or attempts to exploit system vulnerabilities.
  • Malicious Traffic Filtering Systems:
    Monitor network traffic to block malicious or unwanted traffic such as spam or attempts to interact with malicious domains and websites.
  • Anti-Malware Systems:
    Monitor network traffic and endpoint and server devices to detect and block malware files or malware execution.
  • Security Operations Center:
    Establish a centralized security monitoring, incident response, and threat intelligence organization responsible for rapidly detecting and mitigating security breaches. Adopt integrated cybersecurity capabilities and automation tools that simplify and streamline security operations.

6. Data Protection & Privacy.

Implement policy-driven security practices and controls to protect data and privacy, harnessing many of the key capabilities listed under the previous recommendations. Data protection and privacy

represents the application of policies, practices, and technical controls to protect user rights and secure data against unauthorized data access or use. Security policies and controls should be applied in a manner consistent with regulator requirements and best practice to protect sensitive data and ensure those who are authorized to access and process data do so ethically and responsibly. Data protection and privacy should also address steps to be taken in the event of a breach or compromise and the mitigation and recovery procedures to contain the damage and inform the affected parties in accordance with applicable laws and regulations

Conclusion

Private 5G networks are evolving fast but companies are still somewhat wary about the complexity and costs.

Perhaps the most important conclusion that can be drawn from considerations of 5G and 4G LTE in private cellular contexts is that there remains a great deal of innovation to be considered and expected as 5G rolls out and becomes more effectively available. 4G enabled a set of capabilities that were not imaginable earlier, 5G too will be enabling a set of capabilities that may not be imaginable today but are coming.

However it is quite evident that 5G will redefine everything we know about technology. It will reinvent how a business is run, ushering in an era where enterprises will build their businesses for a connected and data-driven future. Are you ready to build Your Network on Your Rules?

Future of 5G

The Future of 5G Is on the Edge and IoT-Based. The promise of Success of 5G would be driven by Enterprise. All previous generation technology adoption were led by consumers demanding and adopting technology. With 5G, we believe enterprise adoption will make or break 5G. CSP's do have a role in enterprise networking but in my view, there are alternatives that would make them one component of enterprise networking solution rather than front and central to every conversation. Rise of SI and prominent role they will play in enterprise 5G network definition, design, deployment, and support, cannot be underestimated. It's clear that revenue-generating use cases overlap for 5G operators and their customers. Edge cloud and IoT often go hand in hand, meaning that both will provide telcos with differentiated service opportunities.