Performance Analysis of Local 5G Operator Architectures for Industrial Internet

5G calls for a network architecture that ensures ultraresponsive and ultrareliable communication links, in addition to the high degree of flexibility and customization required by different vertical sectors. The novel concept called local 5G networks enables a versatile set of stakeholders to operate 5G networks within their premises with guaranteed quality and reliability to complement mobile network operators’ (MNOs) offerings. This article proposes a descriptive architecture for a local 5G operator which provides user specific and location-specific services in a spatially confined environment, i.e., industrial Internet environment. In addition to that, the article proposes hybrid architecture options where both the local 5G operator and MNO collaboratively contribute to establish the core network to cater to such communications. The architecture is discussed in terms of network functions (NFs) and the operational units which entail the core and radio access networks in a smart factory environment which supports Industry 4.0 standards. Moreover, to realize the conceptual design, the article provides simulation results for the latency measurements of the proposed architecture options with respect to an augmented reality (AR), massive wireless sensor networks, and mobile robots use cases. Thereby the article discusses the benefits of deploying core NFs locally to cater to specialized user requirements, rather than continuing with the conventional approach where only MNOs can deploy cellular networks.