Industry 4.0 applications hold great potential for innovation. But what does digitization bring to companies if the infrastructure is missing?
Liam Kenny, CEO of Druid Software, explains in an interview how private 5G campus networks can help.
Mr. Kenny, Druid Software is considered a “hidden champion” for private network and yet Juniper Research recently included you as a market leader in their Private Network Leader Board. We got curious: Who is behind Druid Software?
Liam Kenny: We are a software development company based out of Ireland and have specialized in the delivery of core mobile applications and technology for private cellular networks since our inception in 2001. All standards of 5G, 4G (PLTE), 3G and 2G are covered.
Through our 40+ employees, we have expertise in deploying some of the world’s largest private networks in critical communication applications for IoT, industrial and healthcare. As part of our Raemis technology platform, we specifically supply global system integrators and network equipment suppliers with core network technologies and component software. As a result, we have already set up several thousand private networks around the world.
A 5G campus cleaning network may not be familiar to everyone right away. Could you please briefly explain to us what the name means?
Liam Kenny: A 5G campus network is a standalone 5G (SA) cellular data network that is deployed for the exclusive use of the end user at that customer’s premises. As a result, it provides indoor and outdoor 5G cellular data coverage for business or mission-critical use cases. In practice, this means that the network is completely independent of the public mobile operator. It can be operated and managed independently by the enterprise end user or their solution provider.
Who needs a 5G campus network: are we moving more in the B2B area with the application or does it also make sense for private customers?
Liam Kenny: Private networks are deployed wherever there is a need for support for mission or business critical use cases. 5G campus networks are therefore relevant for public utility companies and energy suppliers, among others. But also on a vertical scale, they are suitable for healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, mining, smart cities, hospitality, security and public safety/emergency services.
So what exactly are the advantages for companies if they opt for a 5G campus network?
Liam Kenny: When companies set up private 5G networks for their locations, they are able to optimize production processes and workflows, run intelligent warehousing or track materials and tools throughout the company premises. The company can also decide which employee gets access to the network and which use cases are implemented. In addition, specific networks (enterprise slicing) can be created separately for different application scenarios, in which they are given priority.
Let’s talk about Germany as a location: Why is the German market so important for you as an Irish software manufacturer for the DigiTech industry?
Liam Kenny: Germany is a key market for Private Network as it is the largest economy in Europe. In addition, the country has a large proportion of companies in the industrial sector, which represent an ideal vertical for 5G private networks. This is mainly due to the radio access technology: Because it is ideally suited for supporting IoT and digital transformation in industry to drive efficiency in production and maintenance applications.
How is the need for mobile technology expressed in the DigiTech scene?
Liam Kenny: In recent years, private mobile networks have been deployed in a growing number of countries where mobile spectrum is made available to businesses. Significantly, this addresses companies with business and company-critical use cases that cannot be served effectively by the established wireless data solutions. So we can see that the supply gap is being taken seriously by companies and is being actively addressed with private 5G campus networks. Ports, transport and logistics companies, energy suppliers, smart mining and public safety customers were among the first users of private mobile networks.
What are the effects of the corona pandemic on Industry 4.0 and what changes have you noticed?
Liam Kenny: The pandemic has made us realize how vulnerable global supply chains are. At the same time, she has helped to drive further innovations for automation in ports, logistics and transport in order to reduce future supply disruptions in the event of major outages.
However, it also became apparent very quickly that the digital divide in rural areas and unserviced urban areas had to be bridged. Because without a high-speed broadband connection, a large number of households cannot keep up in times of home office and home schooling. Ultimately, this is at the expense of education and the economy.
What can we expect in terms of private network in the coming years?
Liam Kenny: One of the most important trends that can be addressed with 5G private networks is the digital transformation of industry: companies are looking for competitive advantages through industrial automation and predictive maintenance because they want more efficiency and higher productivity above all reach.
Mr. Kenny, thank you for the interview.