A new report from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) found LTE remains the favoured technology for private mobile network deployments worldwide, although it states 5G is being used by around 37 per cent of customers tracked in its study.

In its latest update for June, the association identified 794 organisations in 68 countries and territories which are deploying private mobile networks based on LTE or 5G.

The GSA’s data suggests LTE is used by 603 of these organisations and 5G by 296, though the association noted the latter is largely being used for “long-term expensive trials” and other test bed deployments, “with a limited number running real operation in industrial situations”.

In terms of service providers, the GSA noted more than 70 operators and 50 equipment vendors are now involved in private mobile network projects.

In addition, public cloud providers are offering private mobile network systems, sometimes in partnership with mobile operators or network suppliers.

The GSA’s research found the manufacturing sector is in the lead in terms of private network deployments, with 140 companies involved in known pilots or deployments.

Next is the education sector, with 80 customer deployments, followed by mining (69) and power utility companies (68).

The GSA notes it defines a private mobile network as a 3GPP-based 4G LTE or 5G network intended for the sole use of private entities including enterprises, industries and governments. The definition includes MulteFire or Future Railway Mobile Communication System but excludes non-3GPP networks using Wi-Fi, TETRA, P25, WiMAX, Sigfox, LoRa and other proprietary technologies.