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How Do the 5G Use Case Families Impact 5G’s Potential for Private Networks?

4G LTE has long been used to support many private network applications, but what about 5G?

In this blog post, discover how 5G can play an important role in different private network applications by delving into the 5G use case families.

5G Use Case Families

3GPP, the industry body behind the 5G standard, has defined three key use case families for 5G:

  1. Ultra-reliable, low latency communications (URLLC)
  2. Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB)
  3. Massive machine type communications (mMTC)

Let’s review each use case’s defining characteristics, backed by private network examples.

Ultra-reliable, low latency communications

With URLLC, developers will be able to deploy ultra-high reliable networks that minimize latency. Network reliability reduces the risk and impact of a service failure, enabling normal operating conditions on a consistent and dependable basis. Low latency, on the other hand, ensures communications are sent and received with very little time delay.

URLLC is a key feature for private networks serving manufacturing and industrial applications. For example, a network interruption on a manufacturing floor can cause significant strain. Outages can halt production, jeopardize deadlines, and increase expenses.

In addition, smart factories often need to send and receive data from various sources, such as autonomous vehicles, multi-tasking robots, and industrial augmented reality (AR) headsets. These systems require low-latency performance for safe and proper operation.

Industrial private networks are being encouraged in some countries through allocation of spectrum specifically for industrial use.

Enhanced mobile broadband

A network with eMBB capabilities can transfer large amounts of data quickly due to high data rates and high bandwidths. eMBB optimizes transmission capacity and speed.

Private networks can use eMBB to add broadband access to subway and rail networks, stadiums, events, campuses, or tactical networks. High resolution video can be delivered in all these cases for security applications or to deliver large amounts of data.

Massive machine type communications

Through mMTC, networks will be able to support a large number of devices in particularly dense wireless environments. This 5G use case focuses on scalable connectivity and interactions among many systems and devices.

In terms of private networks, satellite systems will be able to meet Internet of Things (IoT) demands, such as supporting connected transportation fleets comprised of cars, ships, and trains.

📑Interested in learning more about the three 5G use case families and how they can impact current and emerging private networks? Check out the article, "Customize private 5G networks for application requirements," featured in EE World’s 2022 5G Handbook.

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Realizing 5G's Potential for Private Networks

While 5G has considerable potential for private network applications, optimal performance often requires customization. Modifications to the 5G New Radio (NR) standard enable next-generation networks with high-performance connectivity, low latency, high data rates, and the ability to overcome unique challenges. 

Learn more about application-specific challenges that require customizations beyond the 5G NR standard and 5G’s role in today’s private networks in the video, “Why Should Private Network Developers Consider 5G?”


Did you know the CommAgility 5G NR product portfolio, which includes software, hardware, and reference design solutions, streamlines the process of modifying 3GPP specifications? Read more about CommAgility and 5G in the "5G New Radio Solutions Guide."