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Deploying and running a private cellular network requires expertise, effort, investment and staff that many enterprises – especially medium-to-small ones – do not have. In any case, enterprises may prefer to have a third party running their private networks, as well as their normal indoor/onsite public cellular coverage. Neutral hosts can do both of these – but so can operators and other service providers. The relationships can also work the other way around, with campus private networks enabling secondary public access – as neutral hosts themselves. These overlaps are further complicated by new cooperation models between carriers such as the UK’s JOTS, plus growing M&A between tower infrastructure, private network and neutral-host providers.
Dean Bubley, Disruptive Analysis, and Monica Paolini, Senza Fili, debated the link between neutral hosts and enterprise private networks: