Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s largest public cloud. Through AWS, Amazon provides IT resources in infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and SaaS modes. It’s billed under a “pay-as-you-go” model, where you pay for what you use. Through the new service Amazon AWS Private 5G with amazon launches private 5G networks It treats it on the same principle as the rest of its cloud offerings.
Private 5G is currently only available in certain areas of the US, namely Ohio, Northern Virginia and Oregon. There are two main reasons. The service is only available within the CBRS domain, which is reserved for US territory and which is provided to corporate intranets free of charge. The second limitation lies in the installation of the radio unit. Unlike Wi-Fi, which can be installed by the user himself, the installation of AWS Private 5G must be entrusted to a professional company. Amazon has not yet determined how quickly it wants to reach other areas of the offer.
What is a private network?
Private networks are non-public networks and are only intended for a pre-defined narrow circle of users, while we also consider devices to be users. The main reasons for choosing a private network are security and reliability. Users request that their application data does not leave the internal network or that no one outside can access their network. At the same time, the network must provide very high availability and quality of service.
The use of private networks has several main advantages:
- Licensed and Reserved Spectrum. Thanks to this, no one bothers you, and the frequency on which you turn on the network is intended for you only at the specified location.
- credibility. This wireless network factor stands for and comes down to the quality of the radio transmission and the allocation of band access. In very simple terms, 4G/5G networks have a built-in scheduler that ensures devices are connected as they should and when they should. This is in contrast to Wi-Fi where devices access the spectrum on an as-needed basis. If the spectrum is occupied, they wait for a random amount of time before it becomes free again. With more stations in Wi-Fi, it becomes increasingly difficult not to interfere with other broadcasts. The call was delayed and we can’t talk about the quality of service.
- safety. This is solved at the level of private 5G networks on two levels. One is the physical level, where the network is virtually disconnected from the use of anyone outside it. It has dedicated spectrum, radio and core network units. The second part is the application part, where encrypted connections and device authentication using SIM cards are used.
We can now take a look at what AWS Private 5G has to offer in its current form. A detailed guide is available on the AWS website.
The Amazon product offers the ability to create a private network “with a single click”. This is how it can be ordered and prepared. But it must be installed by a specialized company that Amazon uses for these activities.
Determining the correct mesh size may not be so simple, especially when it comes to coverage. The basis of any wireless network, and in the case of private 5G, this applies more than anywhere else, is the determination of the optimal number of base stations, their placement and configuration.
As it stands, Amazon’s offering is simple. One hundred SIM cards and one radio module are available in one order. You must entrust the installation of the radio unit to a partner company that Amazon has contracted with for this purpose. He calls them CPI, i.e. Certified Professional Installer.
The core of the network in the cloud
The radio module is connected to the Internet, with which it creates a secure tunnel to the AWS cloud, in which the entire network core runs. This is a cost effective solution, you don’t have to worry about extra hardware.
By the way, Amazon is not the only one that offers its own model of installing a private mobile network management in the cloud. Today, it is common for a 5G kernel to run in all cases as a cloud solution, either in the edge cloud directly on the client (due to lower latency requirements) or in the operator cloud, where private networks are segmented and separated from individual types of clients within a so-called segmentation the network.
Network Segmentation is a major new feature of 5G that enables the creation of individual logical networks within a single physical infrastructure. It depends on whether you are satisfied with the shared resources or whether you need complete control over all the resources of every part of the network, and basic 5G is only running for your needs.
However, Amazon’s current solution also brings limitations. You can order only one small cell and with it you will get one hundred SIM cards for your device.
Although the service is called 5G, it is currently only available in the LTE standard. This may cause problems for users in the future, when the offer changes to full 5G. When moving to full 5G technology, in some cases it will be necessary to replace devices or terminals.
The Amazon system does not support third-party radio modules. Maximum speeds are determined by the bandwidth that can be used. In areas where twice the 20MHz bandwidth is allowed, it is possible to achieve speeds of up to 180Mbps for downlink and 20Mbps for uplink, per base station, according to Amazon. But in New York, for example, the range is limited to 10MHz, and the speeds will be much lower. Latency is about 60 to 80 milliseconds.
Another limitation is the transfer and processing of data in the AWS cloud. It is not possible to use, for example, a local edge cloud to reduce latency.
Simple payment form. It depends on how long you use the network. Basically, it charges $10 for every hour you use the network, but at the same time there is an initial minimum commitment. Radio units will be billed for at least 60 days from activation. After a commitment of at least sixty days, wireless units are billed by the hour until you delete the network. The first 60 days will cost you $14.4K.
Support for cloud applications
What is very useful and helpful about Amazon 5G offerings is the support from Amazon Web Services and the entire ecosystem which is already established. Together with a private network, you can use for example Internet of Things SiteWise To monitor and manage your devices or Kinesis Video Streams To process and analyze the video of the camera system.
A step forward
With AWS Private 5G, Amazon has taken an important step towards producing private 5G networks. It provides limited, but at the same time, simple means towards the client and thus sets clear guidelines for how the network should look. This is an indication that creating and operating a private 5G network does not have to be complicated. At the same time, thanks to the improved offering of other services in AWS, it also provides customer support for application levels. This is very important because there is a deep-rooted myth among the parties involved that only operators should build 5G, which is not true.
In the world, both operators with their major suppliers of network solutions live in a symbiosis on the one hand, and are systems integrator with a number of “independent vendor” and Open RAN solutions on the other. They can implement highly cost effective solutions.
In my opinion, there must be an intermediary between the customer and the supplier of the technology itself, who knows the means offered by the technology and adapts it to the requirements of the customer. And this is precisely the role of system integrators.
In the field of security, it is common to design solutions tailored to individual requirements. The same principles also apply to the field of private 5G networks. Even in Industry 4.0 private networks, for example, we are talking about individual requirements for individual jobs, and the network has to adapt to that. Whether from the perspective of coverage, service configuration, scalability or last but not least, service level agreement and supervision. Will you have Amazon on the phone when there’s a production problem at 8 p.m. Friday? (AWS creates branches where they try to get people to connect with customers, this also applies to the Czech Republic – editor’s note).
On the other hand, a productive offering of a private 5G network may benefit a certain set of usage scenarios, for example in situations where less critical application requirements are imposed. On the contrary, for critical and more demanding scenarios, it can be assumed that tailored solutions will be used in the future as well.
What does a private 5G network look like in Hungary: