Private Network Spending Projected to Reach $21 Billion by 2030

Private mobile networks are gaining traction as enterprises invest in digital transformation initiatives, according to a recent forecast by STL Partners. The research firm projects a 62% annual growth in private network spending, reaching $21 billion by 2030.

‘Enterprises are investing in digital transformation and private networks are seen as important enablers of applications that not only drive productivity and operational efficiency, but fundamentally change the way that operations run,’ explains Yesmean Luk, Principal Consultant and Private Networks practice lead at STL Partners.

While growth has been modest in the past two years as enterprises evaluated the return on investment, STL Partners anticipates a surge in adoption from 2024 to 2026, with the market surpassing $5 billion in 2027. Ahmed Ali, Senior Analyst at STL Partners, notes that ‘the private network market is more than just infrastructure.’ The applications layer is expected to drive much of the growth, increasing its share from 14% of the total revenue in 2024 to become the biggest part of the value chain, with a 42% share at over $9 billion in 2030.

Countries with highly developed industrial sectors, such as China and the United States, are poised to lead the space, with projected market shares of $2.4 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively, by 2030. Manufacturing will remain the largest spender on private networks, accounting for almost 50% of the market in 2024, but its share will shrink as utilities, extractive industries, and logistics see a boom in adoption.

Interestingly, 4G (LTE) will remain the dominant technology in private mobile networks until 2028, when 5G will take over the pole position. As Luk explains, ‘for many enterprises, 4G is considered sufficient to meet the requirements of most early, tactical use cases, such as reliable connectivity in remote locations.’ However, as 5G devices become more affordable and dynamic network slicing and standalone 5G become more widely available, ‘we expect 5G-based deployments to become more widespread among enterprises, including small-to-medium sized companies. Simply put, the barrier to entry will be lower.’

STL Partners is a leading provider of market analysis and consulting services in private networks, offering thought leadership reports, market forecasts, deployment databases, and use case analysis.

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