The private networks ecosystem: Who to partner with

Enterprise Platforms, Private Networks

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In the rapidly evolving ecosystem of private networks, collaboration and partnerships are becoming critical for success. Our report examines the key elements shaping this dynamic market and how partnerships, verticalisation strategies, and wide-ranging channel approaches are reshaping the private networks landscape.


Enterprises are considering implementing private networks to improve their operational efficiency and enable new use cases. Stakeholders on the supply side, including traditional and new service providers and technology vendors, are looking for routes to enter and compete in the private networks market. The graphic below shows the current number of deployments by sector.

Private networks deployments by sector, 2021 to March 2023


Source: STL Partners Private Networks Global Insight Tool

With many players in the market, it can be difficult for new and existing players in the private networks value chain to navigate and determine the best strategy and position to take. Infrastructure and service providers are simultaneously trying to carve out their core positions and expand their solutions to capture the largest possible share of the opportunity. For enterprises, this is creating a confusing market, where it is difficult to assess which partners to work with. This can also create barriers to growth in the market as enterprise customers hold back on investing in private networks until the ecosystem and value chain are more structured. So there is an incentive for providers to be clearer on their roles.

Therefore, it is important for all stakeholders and providers to have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the ecosystem in order to:

  • Gain clarity on where a given company’s strength is in the market, and how to stand out and differentiate. For example, which vertical or layer of the value chain to target.
  • Develop a clear view of gaps in existing solutions and emerging challengers.
  • Identify good partnering or acquisition targets and opportunities.

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Recent news has reported on the number of collaborations happening lately. This is not surprising given that deploying and running private networks requires a level of collaboration, due to the complexity of private networks solutions compared to public wireless networks and legacy enterprise connectivity solutions.

By leveraging these partnerships, stakeholders can strengthen their offerings in the market. They can provide tailored solutions that address the specific challenges and requirements of their target vertical markets, ultimately helping them to stand out in a crowded market and achieve success in the private network industry.

In addition, stakeholders must consider several factors when choosing private network partners, such as their level of expertise in their sector, their record of project delivery and their customer base.

This report examines the private networks ecosystem, focusing on the collaborative efforts required to build and harness their potential. We begin by exploring the diverse ecosystem surrounding private networks, providing insights into their lifecycle. We examine the various solutions available in the market, including managed service offerings and the ever-increasing popularity of hyperscaler-supported as-a-service solutions. Finally, we shed light on the significance of strategic partnerships and current trends shaping the private network landscape. By addressing growth barriers and embracing collaboration, organisations can navigate this dynamic environment with confidence.

In line with our continued focus on private networks, this report builds on the knowledge presented in our Private Networks Insight Service where we provide in-depth analysis of the market through research reports and products such as:

Building a private network requires coordination between multiple parties

Private networks share aspects of the public wireless networks as well as enterprise LAN networks. Therefore, deploying and managing them present a unique set of requirements that relates to these two types of networks. There is no single provider currently that can independently address all these requirements. The success of private networks delivery depends on solving the challenges associated with these differences through effective ecosystem partnerships. (See graphic below)

Requirements for private networks solutions and services


Source: STL Partners


Table of contents

  • Executive Summary
    • Market opportunities
    • Recommendations for stakeholders
  • Introduction
    • Building a private network requires coordination between multiple parties
  • The private network ecosystem
    • Overview of the private network lifecycle
  • Types of private network solutions available in the market
    • Enterprise co-developed solutions
    • Managed service solutions
    • Hyperscaler-supported as-a-service solutions
  • Where to partner in private networks
    • Key trends underpinning a shifting ecosystem
    • Partnership strategies: How they can address growth barriers
  • Conclusion

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