Nokia revealed the majority of early private network adopters surveyed reported a positive return on investment (RoI) within the first year of deployment, with almost half supporting a greater number of use cases than anticipated.

The company’s study was conducted by analyst company GlobalData and took in the opinions of 100 enterprises across the manufacturing, transportation and energy sectors which had deployed private wireless networks.

Respondents were from a number of countries including Australia, France, Japan, the US and UK.

In the 2024 Industrial Digitalisation Report, Nokia revealed 78 per cent of respondents reported they booked positive RoI within six months of deployment and 45 per cent expanded the number of use cases covered.

When spread over 12 months, the number reporting positive RoI stood at 93 per cent.

Among the benefits described by enterprises were an increase in worker safety from use of the geofencing and robotics to carry out dangerous tasks, and better carbon monitoring using sensors to aid sustainability efforts.

Nokia claimed many advanced use cases were being underpinned by the deployment of private wireless alongside on-site edge technology, and new industrial devices compatible with AI and analytics coming to market.  

It noted 39 per cent had implemented edge technology alongside private wireless, with a further 52 per cent planning to do so.

Flying high
Lufthansa Industry Solutions was one of the private network adopters quoted in the report as expanding the scope of its deployment.

IT consultant at the company Claudius Noak said after its initial deployment it “extended the number of radio locations at the site, with private wireless networks connecting over 50 devices, a number that will soon grow into the hundreds, with the ability to ultimately support over 1,000 connected devices”.

Nokia’s research is the latest positive feedback from users of private networks, which some experts argue have taken longer to gain traction in the 5G era than many had hoped.

However, a recent spate of trial announcements and deployments across a range of industries could indicate the area is gaining increasing traction with enterprises.