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STL Partners Forecasts 62% Annual Growth in Private Network Spending, Hitting $21 Billion by 2030

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Spending on building, running and maintaining private mobile networks will grow at a compound annual rate of 62% from US$1.2 billion in 2024 to US$21 billion in 2030 worldwide, according to a recent forecast by telecoms research agency STL Partners.

 LONDON, ENGLAND, March 20, 2024 “Enterprises are investing in digital transformation and private networks are seen as important enablers of applications that not only drive productivity and operational efficiency, but fundamentally change the way that operations run,” points out Yesmean Luk, Principal Consultant and Private Networks practice lead.

• Private mobile networks spend to reach US$21 billion by 2030
• Applications to account for over 40% of the value
• 4G will continue to dominate the market until 5G takes its crown in 2028

Growth has been more modest in the last two years, as enterprises needed to be convinced of the return on investment, and the weak macroeconomic outlook did not help. However, things are picking up, and STL Partners expects the three years from 2024 to 2026 to bring more adoption before the market scales up to surpass US$5 billion in 2027.

“The private network market is more than just infrastructure,” explains Ahmed Ali, Senior Analyst. Much of the growth in market value will be driven by the applications layer, which will increase its share from 14% of the total revenue in 2024 to become the biggest part of the value chain, with a 42% share at over US$9 billion in 2030. “This explosive growth will be driven by enterprises utilising their private networks infrastructure more efficiently to run multiple applications and compute-intensive use cases,” continues Ali.

Countries with highly developed industrial sectors are poised to lead the space, with China and the United States projected to command significant shares of the market by 2030, amounting to US$2.4 billion and US$1.8 billion, respectively.

Manufacturing has led the way and will remain the largest spender on private networks for the foreseeable future. In 2024 it will account for almost 50% of the market, but its share will shrink by 2030, as utilities, extractive industries and logistics all see a boom in adoption.

“Despite much talk and hype about 5G in the telecom industry, 4G (LTE) will remain the dominant technology in private mobile networks until 2028, when 5G will take over the pole position,” remarks Luk. This is because for many enterprises 4G is considered sufficient to meet the requirements of most early, tactical use cases, such as reliable connectivity in remote locations. “Still, as more 5G devices come to market, the cost of deployment goes down, and dynamic network slicing and standalone 5G become more widely available, we expect 5G-based deployments to become more widespread among enterprises, including small-to-medium sized companies. Simply put, the barrier to entry will be lower”, concludes Luk.

STL Partners is a leading provider of market analysis and consulting services in private networks. Our research portfolio includes thought leadership reports, market forecasts, deployment database, and use case analysis. More details can be found here:

STL Partners is a leading, global research and consulting firm that focuses on the telecoms and technology industries. We enable telcos, tech companies, and their partners to make the world run better. More information on our research and services is available at

Ahmed Ali

Senior Analyst