Partnerships, acquisitions and mergers are essential elements that propel modern companies to growth. With 5G technology currently improving user experience for various use cases such as the Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality and ultra high definition videos, partnerships of 5G system integration providers with telecom operators are already emerging.
Aimed at exploiting the potential of 5G, IBM; Casa Systems, a company focused on 5G transformation; and Enea, a company that offers 5G data management and mobile network security, have announced their partnership.
Through the partnership, each company will contribute to building an efficient private 5G network, enabling operators and enterprises to build and deploy their own platforms for better reliability, scalability and network security. The move will also aim to deliver ultra-low latency with lower end-to-end delivery costs and create a path to 5G network deployment with centralized control and edge-based delivery intelligence.
What this collaboration will bring
With the global 5G infrastructure market estimated at $9.26 billion USD by 2022 and $81 billion USD by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate of 54.37%, IBM, Casa Systems and Enea understand the need for significant industry collaborations. Their partnership may be what they need to have a solid footprint and compete favorably with other major 5G players such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone in the market.
This collaboration is also fueled by the growing adoption of 5G in key industries such as healthcare, energy and utilities, manufacturing, financial services and defense. These industries increasingly rely on the flexibility of 5G to keep critical systems and applications running. However, IBM, Casa Systems and Enea believe there is a potential security risk inherent in the widespread adoption of 5G and want to create a proprietary 5G solution that will be more reliable and secure.
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To achieve this, all three parties will bring to the table separate technology innovations to provide businesses with a secure private 5G network. Through the partnership, Casa Systems, through its Axyom Software Framework, will provide end-to-end 5G wireless solutions that address the coverage and capacity needs of public and private networks.
The deal will see IBM provide its Cloud Pak for network automation, enabling network management and automation. This will also help cloud service providers transform their networks, move towards zero-touch operations, reduce operating costs, deliver services faster and advance telcos.” zero confidence strategy.
Enea, on the other hand, will deliver security enhancements through end-to-end encrypted communications and subscriber data management without vendor lock-in through its open-shift model.
Aside from the individual contributions mentioned above, all three organizations are currently working on a customer proof-of-concept collaboration in Dallas. According to the parties, this move will improve subscriber data management, built-in security, interoperability and multi-access 5G.
In addition, IBM said it is working with Casa Systems to build open radio access network solutions to address private 5G use cases. The two aim to enable service providers and enterprises to build solutions that are much more flexible and resilient to change.
The companies claim that ORAN will allow carriers to use high-performance network components without worrying about vendor lock-in and high costs, while still offering key benefits including network flexibility, agility and scalability.
In addition, due to the high adoption of 5G in applications that leverage robotics, artificial intelligence, IoT, 3D printing and augmented reality, the companies believe the manufacturing sector will be the biggest beneficiary of the partnership. IBM, Casa Systems and Enea also claim that the collaboration will move production from mass production to mass customization.
Where are other big 5G players?
Every major collaboration, merger, or acquisition in the technology industry impacts the market in one way or another. In the case of this partnership, to what extent will it affect other prominent players in the 5G market?
Since 5G has become mainstream, there has been news of investments by numerous telecom service providers in the development of next-generation network infrastructure. These investments are primarily aimed at enabling providers to build up an extensive customer base.
In addition, the large industry participants are actively focusing on mergers and acquisitions to strengthen their position in the international market. For example, T-Mobile and Ericsson signed a contract in September 2018 to support T-Mobile’s 5G rollout in the United States.
Similarly, Intel announced earlier this year that it acquired private 5G network provider Ananki. Intel said the deal with the startup would help it focus on commercializing private 5G services based on open-source networking technologies.
Furthermore, large market players spend a lot of money to purchase the necessary spectrum. The companies believe such investments will improve their overall portfolios and grow their global subscriber base. For example, in 2018, the BT Group Enterprise (EE) division purchased 40 MHz of the 3.4 GHz spectrum (3,540-3,580 MHz spectrum frequencies) for approximately $426.5 million. The company plans to use the spectrum to provide enhanced internet services in the UK
With all the mergers, acquisitions and partnerships going on in the 5G industry, IBM, Casa Systems and Enea will be fighting a strong battle to try to make a major impact in the 5G market.
In terms of more 5G related news, the GSMA pushed for a faster rollout of 5G across Europe while Las Vegas and NTT are the largest private 5G network in the United States.