AWS launches Private 5G Managed Service

  • December 7, 2021
  • William Payne

Amazon Web Services has launched a new managed service to help enterprises set up and scale private 5G mobile networks in their facilities in days instead of months: AWS Private 5G. Among the first customers are Amazon, who are implementing AWS Private 5G in the company’s network of fulfilment centres, US multinational Koch Industries, and DISH Network Corporation.

Customers can specify through the AWS console where they want to build a mobile network and the network capacity needed for their devices, and AWS delivers and maintains the small cell radio units, servers, 5G core and radio access network (RAN) software, and subscriber identity modules (SIM cards) required to set up a private 5G network and connect devices. AWS Private 5G is designed to automate the set-up and deployment of the network and scales capacity on demand to support additional devices and increased network traffic.

Once equipment is installed and powered on, AWS Private 5G automatically configures and deploys the mobile network. To connect devices to the private network, customers plug AWS-supplied SIM cards into their devices.

AWS Private 5G integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) enabling network administrators to directly control which resources mobile devices can access on their private mobile networks. Customers can start with small networks with fewer devices using AWS Private 5G, analyse network needs once in operation, and leverage the elasticity and pay-as-you-go pricing of AWS to scale their private mobile network as they add more devices.

“Many of our customers want to leverage the power of 5G to establish their own private networks on premises, but they tell us that the current approaches make it time-consuming, difficult, and expensive to set up and deploy private networks,” said David Brown, Vice President, EC2 at AWS. “With AWS Private 5G, we’re extending hybrid infrastructure to customers’ 5G networks to make it simple, quick, and inexpensive to set up a private 5G network. Customers can start small and scale on-demand, pay as they go, and monitor and manage their network from the AWS console.”

DISH Network Corporation is a US-based connectivity company that is building an open 5G smart network. “Selecting AWS has enabled us to on-board and scale our 5G core network functions within the cloud. They are a key strategic partner in helping us deliver private enterprise networks to our customers,” said Stephen Bye, Chief Commercial Officer, DISH. “AWS’s innovative platform allows us to better serve our consumer wireless customers, while unlocking new business models for enterprise customers across a wide range of industry verticals. Our ability to support dedicated, private 5G enterprise networks allows us to give customers the scale, resilience and security needed to support a wide variety of devices and services, unlocking the potential of Industry 4.0.”

“Koch sees great potential in private 5G networking. However, there are significant challenges in the do-it-yourself approach. It can be complex, time consuming, and expensive, both in initial set-up cost as well as ongoing service charges,” said Matt Hoag, CTO at Koch Business Solutions. “In collaboration with industry software vendors like Mavenir and global communication service providers, AWS Private 5G can helps solve real challenges that enterprises face in deploying private cellular networks around the world. We believe that this combination will also encourage expansion of the cellular Industrial IoT ecosystem and accelerate the delivery of disruptive private connectivity solutions for our customers.”

Amazon Fulfilment Centres despatch goods to Amazon customers, with robots, scanning machines, and computer systems in each Amazon fulfilment centre managing millions of items in a day. “We deploy technology outside of FCs to make moving tractor trailers around safer and more accurate and efficient. We have to provide network services for these systems across millions of square feet of outdoor space. Previously, to get proper Wi-Fi coverage in the parking lots around our FCs, we had to add light poles for the Wi-Fi equipment, modify our outdoor electrical systems and either trench fibre or support Mesh systems. This was expensive, disrupted productivity during installation, and had a high support burden,” said Jeff Armstrong, Director of Infrastructure Engineering at Amazon. “With AWS Private 5G, we can use two outdoor small cells mounted on the corners of our warehouses and achieve additional coverage in our parking lots, which was much quicker and cheaper to deploy. Just as important, we will be able to scale up our AWS Private 5G deployment as we expand our facilities.”