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Secure and Simple to Deploy: Private 5G Network-in-a-Box

private 5G networks

For a while, 5G was mainly a consumer must-have. After all, a 5G-enabled smartphone enables faster streaming and improves overall performance, something practically everyone wants. The appeal of 5G spread to the enterprise and public sector with the rise of sensor-driven data analytics. When every device is an edge node transmitting data, reliably accessing derived information with low latency became a priority for B2B sectors.

And given the high stakes riding on reliable and always-available data, more public sector and private enterprises ensure their business processes with private 5G networks, says Yazz Krdzalic, VP of Marketing at Trenton Systems, provider of resilient, high-performance computing solutions.

Moving up from 4G to 5G was about “adding three swim lanes: ultra-reliable, low-latency data transmission; control and management of security; and the ability to accommodate hundreds of thousands of interconnected devices communicating simultaneously. Now you can take care of your biggest pain points with one technology,” Krdzalic says.

Private #5G shifts the public sector and private enterprise off the public #cloud to a dedicated secure #network. @TrentonSystems via @insightdottech

Private 5G Networks Boost Data Security

But despite its many advantages, 5G has one weakness: It depends on public infrastructure.

When natural disasters strike, communication infrastructure, including cell towers, can be out of commission. Satellite communications are a shaky backup when first responders need immediate on-the-ground information transmitted securely. It’s wiser to lean on a private 5G network in such instances.

“You put up your own antenna, your radio units, and you’re up and running. You’re also able to work in disconnected mode, which means you’re not tethered to the mothership,” Krdzalic says. Groups can share information with one another, and when they get within range of a working cell tower or satellite communications, they can relay data.

Private 5G shifts the public sector and private enterprise off the public cloud to a dedicated secure network. “You take the value-add of 5G and add it to your own private bubble,” Krdzalic says.

The possibility of a cyber-breach increases with the number of data-transmitting nodes, so the ability to apply more security policies makes private 5G an especially attractive proposition for today’s business operations. A “private bubble” fortifies security, a key element for both public and private sectors.

The Private 5G Network Solution

Recognizing that organizations looking to deploy private 5G might want to avoid assembling the components themselves, Trenton Systems developed the Integrated Edge Solution with Private 5G (IES.5G). The “network in a box” unites all the components—rugged hardware, enhanced processors, software, and security—into one unit. “Instead of a million moving pieces, we spent a lot of time with our partners figuring out how to develop an easy button for private 5G deployments,” Krdzalic says.

Intel, ZScaler, as well as RAN and 5G Core software vendors are among the partners who bring their strengths to the product. Trenton Systems provides edge computing platforms or rugged servers designed to work under extreme conditions. ZScaler delivers a zero-trust cloud-based cybersecurity platform, while the various RAN and 5G Core vendors’ software drives the unit’s connectivity.

The underlying architecture—from the CPUs to the accelerators to the adapters on the system—is provided and powered by Intel. The product can run on Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors. Organizations on 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors can get the Intel® vRAN Accelerator ACC100 Adapter for high-capacity 4G and 5G vRAN deployment or the Intel® Quick Assist Technology (Intel® QAT) Adapter. The system includes Intel® FlexRAN, which enables control of the underlying RAN architecture and is “the quality foundational piece which the RAN and the core sit on top of,” Krdzalic says. “The motherboards themselves may come equipped with Ethernet adapters or an Intel E810 NIC card, which is another thing we are incorporating into this solution to make it easier to test the IES.5G in the lab and field-deployed environments,” he adds.

Computing Efficiencies and Private 5G Use Cases

Scalability and the ability to slice and dice bandwidth depending on needs are additional advantages of the IES.5G, Krdzalic says. IT can scale the server-in-a-box units up and down and can bulk up on just computing power if that’s what’s needed.

The IES.5G solution also enables Virtual Network Functions (VNF) and Cloud Network Functions (CNF), ways of using software to deliver network services instead of relying exclusively on hardware. These capabilities enable IT to slice network bandwidth and distribute it depending on needs. “You’re able to finely articulate how you would like to utilize your full bandwidth; you don’t have to assume it’s just an on-off switch,” Krdzalic says. First responders, for example, can access the best available bandwidth at all times. Because not everyone always needs maximum capacity, the infrastructure is also not running at maximum at all times but instead consumes only as much energy as absolutely necessary.

In addition to the public sector, use cases for private 5G networks run the gamut across manufacturing and healthcare settings. The future is all about ubiquitous and continuous connectivity, and it starts with private 5G.

After all, as Krdzalic says, “private 5G is like saying ‘I have my own data center, I have my own ISP, and I have my own equipment and everything I need to ensure that my team and I have connectivity and compute power right where we need it, when we need it.’”

This article was edited by Georganne Benesch, Editorial Director for

About the Author

Poornima Apte is a trained engineer turned technology writer. Her specialties run a gamut of technical topics from engineering, AI, IoT, to automation, robotics, 5G, and cybersecurity. Poornima's original reporting on Indian Americans moving to India in the wake of the country's economic boom won her an award from the South Asian Journalists’ Association. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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