AWS Private 5G now available, but is the cost for 4G worth it?

AWS Private 5G now available, but is the cost for 4G worth it?

AWS Private 5G is now generally available, giving enterprises the ability set up and scale private mobile networks more easily and quickly, according to the cloud provider. The company says the AWS Management Console allows businesses to complete network deployment in days with just a few clicks.

AWS Private 5G makes it possible to deploy your private mobile network quickly, without extensive planning and investment. Enterprise customers can quickly scale the number of connected devices up or down and benefit from a familiar on-demand cloud pricing model. This makes this solution ideal for high video content, new applications that require ultra-low latency connectivity, and thousands of smart IoT devices, AWS said.

The service also delivers and maintains the small cell radio unit, mobile network core and radio access network software, and subscriber identity modules required for setting up a private mobile network. There are no per-device costs or upfront fees with AWS Private 5G, and users only pay for the network capacity they request.

AWS Private 5G is available in the following AWS Regions: US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), and US West (Oregon).

The big caveat: enterprises can deploy 4G LTE and CBRS-band networks, but not 5G — yet.

“AWS Private 5G is built using a 5G service-based architecture (SBA), where 3GPP decomposed the core into network functions. With the SBA architecture, you can derive the benefits of private mobile networks today and seamlessly shift to 5G in the future,” according to the company’s web site.

Another related matter: the bandwidth isn’t the super speedy 5G variety, either. A single AWS Private 5G radio unit will offer up to 200 Mbps of bandwidth for devices such as tablets, handhelds, scanners, printers, with the return path bandwidth of up to 20 Mbps for devices such as security camera.

Growing interest in private wireless

Data is important for companies as they gather, analyze, and transfer more significant amounts of data from connected sensors and edge devices.

Businesses want to use 5G for their on-premises connection needs because:

  • It provides clients comprehensive outdoor, long-range device mobility and reliable network coverage.
  • Customers may connect more devices and cost-effectively exchange data with greater flexibility and dependability than current wired and wireless technology.
  • Customers want their own 5G networks to take advantage of their dependability, broader coverage, decreased latency, and increased capacity.

Before cloud-based wireless networks, enterprises would need to evaluate hardware and software options, integrate the various components, and maintain the network if they wanted to implement a private network. They would need to do all this while also trying to figure out how to keep up with the latest mobile technologies.

According to Amazon, AWS Private 5G offers the following advantages:

  • AWS provides and maintains the network’s pre-integrated small cell radios, servers, 5G core software, and SIM cards. It eliminates the need to acquire, integrate, and maintain hardware and software from various third-party suppliers..
  • Once the equipment is connected and ready to go, AWS Private 5G automatically sets up and deploys the mobile network. Customers insert the AWS-supplied SIM cards into their devices to connect them to the private network.
  • Customers can start with a small network of fewer devices and build it up as they grow their business. AWS Private 5G allows them to analyze network demands during operation. AWS’s elasticity and pay-as-you-go pricing enable them to scale their private mobile network as necessary.
  • Customers may quickly set up and manage private 5G mobile networks using AWS Private 5G. They don’t need to worry about purchasing, scaling, maintaining equipment, or adding more capacity when they want to add more devices.

Analysis

Like other private 5G services, AWS Private 5G can claim to offer several advantages for businesses that want to operate their own 5G networks. These advantages include quickly setting up and managing a private network without worrying about purchasing or maintaining equipment. The pay-as-you-go pricing model also makes it easy to expand a network as needed.

The question is whether the pricing model actually makes sense, especially in light of AWS currently offering only 4G service. AWS constructed several use cases, and the pricing for the minimum 60-day term is in the neighborhood of $14,400. Keep it on the whole year, and that’s $89,000, which had industry observers questioning the value of the service. The price will also increase the more data has to be shipped to services outside of the AWS ecosystem.

AWS’ Private 5GB general availability still looks a bit ‘beta.’All that being said, true private 5G services built around cloud infrastructure and on-demand pricing will enable interesting and important uses in industry and elsewhere, and we figure AWS to eventually be in the thick of the market.

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