Private wireless has moved from the testing phase to heavy and expanding usage by enterprises, according to a report and study conducted for Nokia by GlobalData.

As the name implies, private wireless uses commercial cellular technology for exclusive use by an individual enterprise or organization. In 2022, many enterprises still were at the proof of concept or pilot stage and usually deployed in a single location or for a use case, according to the study, titled 2024 Industrial Digitalization Report.

Times have changed dramatically during the past two years for respondents, who are in the manufacturing, transportation and energy industries in the U.S., Australia, France, Japan, the U.K. and elsewhere. Almost half of respondents—45%—report leveraging private wireless to support more use cases than planned when first deployed.

Within the first six months, all the enterprises that had deployed private wireless expanded their networks use or deployed networks in additional location. And 78% reported a positive return on investment.

The companies also reported that private wireless contributed to safety and had an environmental impact: Sixty-five percent found a 10% improvement in worker safety and 79% reported a 10% or greater reduction in their emissions.

The survey also found that 39% of enterprises using private wireless have since deployed on-premises edge technology. An additional 52% plan to do so.

Now that ROI has been proven, David de Lancellotti, Nokia’s Vice President of Enterprise Campus Edge Business, said in a prepared statement that he expects to see fast deployment of the technology.

This will certainly drive the fast deployment of more use cases and lower the total cost of ownership,” he said. “The Nokia Industrial Digitalization Report reinforces that private wireless networks and edge technology, combined in one platform provide enterprises with the best foundation for the AI-powered use cases into their operations.”

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