May 15, 2023
Pieter Knikkink

How to make voice services economically viable in private 4G/5G networks

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Mobile Private Network (MPN) is a buzzword in the enterprise space. An MPN is a mobile network designed for a certain use case in a particular region and utilizes 4G or 5G cellular technology. The network is exclusively used by the enterprise and can be managed by it or as a managed service on its behalf. With the increase in availability of spectrum for private networks and telco suppliers such as ng-voice providing low-footprint Core software, the interest and adoption of private networks have accelerated. While data use cases were the initial focus in MPNs, demand for voice use cases is steadily increasing owing to the need of guaranteeing quality of service for voice-based mission-critical use cases.

According to a study by CMI (Custom Market Insights) [1], the Global Private 5G Network Market was estimated at USD 1.45 Billion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach around USD 41.80 Billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of ~49.7% between 2022 and 2030. With the maturity of 5G standalone networks, enterprises are leveraging the capabilities/features of 5G technology to enhance existing operations or introduce new product offerings for additional revenue streams. Digital transformation, intelligent factories, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are applications of enterprise transformation. Though 5G is the focus in private networks, it should be acknowledged that 4G technology is also a viable option for private networks and provides the necessary capabilities depending on the use case. Some enterprises have deployed private networks for decades, mainly in the form of Wi-Fi. However, both 4G and 5G cellular technologies offer significant advantages over other technologies, including Wi-Fi 6. They provide better coverage, are more reliable, provide better flexibility to deploy, support moving devices more effectively, and have better security. In the case of 5G, there are additional capabilities, most relevantly the Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) functionality, which will allow for the support of real-time control systems, autonomous vehicles, and augmented/virtual reality, amongst other things. ng-voice’s IMS is suitable for both 4G or 5G private networks and can provide Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over New Radio (VoNR) capabilities. Furthermore, integration of ng-voice’s IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) with use case-specific application servers (e.g., Mission Critical servers) ensures that various use cases or scenarios can be achieved in a private network setup.

Industries managing or providing critical services require a secure and reliable network. Always-on connectivity and guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) need to be ensured. Let us look at some examples of use cases. In the healthcare industry, reliable communication is required for communication between healthcare personnel, especially where life is at stake. Furthermore, there are IoT applications where medical devices (e.g., ventilators) can initiate calls to medical personnel based on triggers such as heart rate going above a threshold. In public safety, security, construction, manufacturing, and mining industries, Push-to-talk (PTT) over Cellular (PoC) is a common use case. PoC allows cell phones to be used as walkie-talkies. Users can communicate by pressing a button and speaking when the phone indicates it is OK to do so. The user releases the button when they are done talking. A PTT Application Server communicates with the IMS to enable PTT over IMS; hence, guaranteed resources are allocated in the network for transmission of speech. Furthermore, there is efficient network resource utilization, as resources are only allocated when a user is actually speaking. Enterprises may choose to deploy private networks with emergency calling capabilities as well. ng-voice’s IMS recognizes the emergency call based on a preconfigured list of emergency numbers and prioritizes the call accordingly. The emergency call can be routed to a private emergency center or Public-Safety Answering Point (PSAP). ng-voice’s IMS is compliant with emergency calling regulatory standards, including those of the EU and North America.

Lower cost, reduce complexity.

One of the biggest differences between private and public networks is the economy of scale. Whereas the public network typically caters to a larger number of subscribers, private networks' size can vary from tens to a few thousand subscribers and/or devices. Making these small networks commercially viable requires a low-cost, low-complexity solution. This applies to both deployment as well as operations. To achieve this, firstly, the solution should be able to scale down to a very small number of subscribers. Secondly, it should be easy to deploy with limited integration, e.g., through a single pre-integrated solution (combined Radio and Core). Thirdly, as enterprises might not have in-house 4G/5G skillsets, the solution needs to be easy to maintain and operate. ng-voice's IMS solution is perfectly positioned to address these challenges through its fully micro-service–based and containerized architecture, which is scalable from very few subscribers to 1000s using only a minimal footprint. As an example, ng-voice's IMS solution deployed on a box-standard Intel® NUC Mini PC (Intel Core i5 processer, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB storage) already caters for a few thousand subscribers. This, together with the flexible pricing model, results in a much lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) compared to legacy IMS solutions, with as much as 80% operational cost reduction, as highlighted in the figure below.

Reduced resource footprint compared to legacy solutions

To simplify the deployment and integration, ng-voice IMS can be deployed automatically, based on your preferred deployment model, be it private cloud, edge cloud, or public cloud, and has been integrated with various solution partners to further reduce integration complexity. ng-voice's extensive use of Automation and Artificial Intelligence helps to keep operations straightforward, providing automated lifecycle management through full CI/CD flow, in-service scaling (up and down), and auto-healing. In addition, ng-voice offers an IMS-aaS model, providing a fully managed solution, further simplifying the operations.

To learn more about ng-voice's IMS, please contact or visit our website at


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Pieter Knikkink
VP Alliances and Partnerships

Publisher Bio

Pieter is a veteran telecommunications professional with over 20 years of experience in various roles around the world. Prior to joining ng-voice, Pieter worked at Nokia in various roles around the world. In 2022, he joined ng-voice and currently is the VP of Partnerships and Alliances. He is responsible for managing and nurturing the company's relationships with key partners and driving strategic alliances that enable ng-voice to grow and expand its business.

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