“The launching point is now”, says Airspan President & COO about private 5G networks
At this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona, Airspan’s President & COO Glenn Laxdal urged RCR Wireless News to simply look around the show in order to see the “tremendous amount of innovation” in the area of private networks.
“As you can see at the show, private networks have been pretty pivotal and sort of central to the theme of Mobile World Congress,” he said. “The way Airspan thinks about it is that what 4G was to the consumer, 5G is to the enterprise, and private networks is all about the enterprise.”
Laxdal did acknowledge, however, that the last two years has seen a significant roll out of 4G private networks, along with “some experimentation” when it comes to 5G use cases in the enterprise space, a development that it’s ramping up quite fast thanks to the introduction of Airspan’s “starter kit”, a full 5G standalone Network in a Box.
“But, really we see the next 10 years being about the deployment of broad-based 5G private networks, and as those get rolled out, we’re going to start to see some pretty clever innovation and enterprise software development going on top of those private networks,” continued Laxdal. “I think that the launching point is now.”
Working with an ecosystem of partners that includes Dell, Cisco and Amazon, Airspan, according to Laxdal, is particularly focusing on the radio, the small cell radio, to be exact. “Small radio cells is really what we’re bringing to the 5G table,” he said.
While 5G deployments so far have largely been around macro cells that provide a coverage layer for nationwide 5G, Airspan sees small cell deployment, both inside and outside an enterprise, as the real opportunity for 5G private networks.