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GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Hybrid 5G Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Hybrid 5G Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook
  5. About Ivan McPhee

1. Executive Summary

5G, the fifth generation of mobile network technology, represents a significant leap forward from its predecessor, 4G. Designed to provide faster data transfer speeds, lower latency, and the ability to connect many more devices simultaneously, operators are investing heavily in 5G rollouts as spectrum becomes available in each geography.

Nevertheless, both private and public 5G networks have their advantages and disadvantages. Private 5G networks offer greater control, security, and customization, making them suitable for organizations that handle sensitive data or require high levels of privacy. However, they come with high initial costs, the need for expertise, ongoing maintenance requirements, and potential regulatory hurdles. Public 5G networks, on the other hand, are more accessible and cost-effective but may be more vulnerable to security threats such as hacking and data breaches.

Hybrid 5G networks combine public and private infrastructure, offering flexibility and scalability for various industries, including manufacturing, transportation, energy and utilities, healthcare, retail, mining, agriculture, education, and sports. The primary drivers for adoption are improved network speed and reliability, enhanced connectivity for hybrid work environments, digital transformation and innovation, operational efficiency, and cost reduction.

Table 1 summarizes the differences among the three 5G network types.

Table 1. Definition of Private 5G, Public 5G, and Hybrid 5G


Private 5G A private 5G network is a nonpublic mobile network that can use licensed, unlicensed, or shared spectrum. It provides cellular connectivity for specific use cases, such as private businesses, third-party providers, and municipalities. These networks offer the benefits of 5G, including high speed and low latency within a restricted access environment, providing enhanced control, security, and customization for the network owner.
Public 5G A public 5G network is a cellular network owned and operated by a telecommunications company, providing high-speed internet connectivity to consumers and businesses. It is designed for use by the general public, with service and management typically handled by the mobile network operator. These networks offer wide coverage, serving a broad range of applications like high-speed internet access, video streaming, and cloud computing.
Hybrid 5G A hybrid 5G network combines public and private infrastructure to create a flexible and scalable network. It allows for seamless operation across private and public domains, delivering the benefits of both types of networks without the complexity of deploying an entirely private network. This blend of infrastructure supports a broad range of use cases and offers an optimal balance of capacity, coverage, capabilities, and cost.
Source: GigaOm 2023

The evolution of 5G, including hybrid 5G, is ongoing as enterprises, industry sectors, and operators search for new, compelling use cases to justify the investment. However, as the technology continues to mature, it is expected to bring about further enhancements in speed, capacity, and flexibility, enabling a wide range of new applications and services.

Business Imperative
Combining both public and private wireless 5G infrastructure, hybrid 5G networks balance network coverage with cost efficiency, flexibility, and scalability, allowing enterprises to control, customize, and scale their network to meet changing needs. Crucial in today’s distributed, hybrid, and remote work environments, hybrid 5G provides enterprise-grade security and supports a wide range of use cases. Moreover, hybrid 5G’s network slicing capabilities enhance network efficiency and performance, providing real-time applications and services with high-speed connectivity and low latency.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of a hybrid 5G solution deployment to the business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a structured assessment of the hybrid 5G sector across five factors: benefit, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each factor based on how strongly it compels or deters adoption of hybrid 5G, we provide an overall Sector Adoption Score (see Figure 1) for hybrid 5G of 4 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that hybrid 5G is a credible candidate for deployment and worth thoughtful consideration.

The factors contributing to the Sector Adoption Score for hybrid 5G are explained in more detail in the Sector Brief section that follows.

Key Criteria for Evaluating Hybrid 5G Solutions

Sector Adoption Score







Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for Hybrid 5G

This is the first year that GigaOm has reported on the hybrid 5G space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and non-functional requirements (business criteria) for selecting an effective hybrid 5G solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those capabilities and business criteria. Together, these reports provide an overview of the hybrid 5G market and its underlying technology, identify leading hybrid 5G offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and non-functional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.