Doubling Down on Private 5G

Hewlett Packard Enterprise doubles down on private 5G,  extends leadership in wireless connectivity with acquisition  of Athonet

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) today announced the  expansion of its connected edge-to-cloud offering with the acquisition of Athonet, a private cellular  network technology provider that delivers mobile core networks to enterprises and communication  service providers. Combined with the HPE telco and Aruba networking portfolios, Athonet will put HPE  at the forefront of a growing market that is predicted by IDC to increase to more than $1.6 billion1 by  2026. 

Based in Vicenza, Italy, Athonet has more than 15 years of experience delivering 4G and 5G mobile core  solutions to customers and partners globally. Athonet is an award-winning technology pioneer with  more than 450 successful customer deployments in various industries, including leading mobile  operators, hospitals, airports, transportation ports, utilities, government, and public safety  organizations.  

With enterprises facing complex connectivity challenges across large and remote sites, private 5G  offers high levels of coverage, reliability and mobility across campus and industrial environments. It  also augments the cost-effective, high-capacity connectivity provided by Wi-Fi. The incorporation of  Athonet’s technology will allow HPE to deliver private networking capabilities directly to enterprises as  part of HPE’s Aruba networking portfolio, while also enabling communications service providers (CSPs)  to quickly deploy private 5G networks for their customers. 

“Telco customers are looking for simpler ways to deploy private 5G networks to meet growing  customer expectations at the connected edge,” said Tom Craig, global vice president and general  manager, Communications Technology Group at HPE. “At the same time, enterprise customers are  demanding a customized 5G experience with low-latency, segregated resources, extended range and  security across campus and industrial environments that complement their existing wireless networks. With the acquisition of Athonet, HPE now has one of the most complete private 5G and Wi-Fi portfolios  for CSP and enterprise customers – and we will offer it as a service through HPE GreenLake.” 

HPE expands private 5G solutions for both telcos and the enterprise  

HPE will integrate Athonet’s technology into its existing CSP and Aruba networking enterprise offerings to create a private networking portfolio that accelerates digital transformation from edge-to-cloud. The  networking portfolio will provide the following benefits:

Enhanced private networks that combine the high capacity of Wi-Fi with the coverage and  mobility of 5G 

Accelerated private 5G deployments that improve agility and innovation to help telco B2B  teams and enterprise customers  

New enterprise revenue streams for telcos with differentiated services leveraging 5G and Wi Fi 

Alignment of costs to revenues with consumption-based models for enterprises and telcos through HPE GreenLake, reducing the risk of entering new markets 

Management of operational complexity and cost efficiency with 5G orchestration and zero touch automation to deliver new workloads from edge-to-cloud 

With 5G investments running into the billions of dollars, CSPs are looking for simple ways to meet  customer needs and drive new B2B revenue by deploying both edge compute and private 5G networks.  The addition of Athonet’s software to HPE’s telco portfolio enhances one of the broadest  communications portfolios in the market, which serves a base of more than 300 customers across 160  countries and connects more than one billion mobile devices worldwide. Building on its existing private  5G solutions, HPE’s enhanced offering for CSPs will support private 4G and 5G networks and include  telco-grade orchestration and automation capabilities. These capabilities will help launch new B2B  services that meet growing customer expectations for the connected edge. 

“Athonet was founded to provide customers with private 4G and 5G solutions that deliver carrier-grade  reliability and performance to suit their increasing and more challenging connectivity needs,” said  Gianluca Verin, CEO and co-founder of Athonet. “We are excited to join HPE and combine our highly  skilled teams as we expand our joint service provider offerings for the rapidly growing private 5G  market and build on HPE’s strategy to be the leading edge-to-cloud solutions provider.” 

Private 5G offers enterprises new capabilities that are ultra-secure, easy to deploy and manage, ready  for highly specialized applications such as robotics and industrial IoT, data networks and pipelines, and  security systems facilitation. The acquisition of Athonet strengthens Aruba’s connected edge portfolio,  

providing the unique and highly sought-after ability to deliver fully integrated Wi-Fi and private 5G  networks. Integration with Aruba Central will enable network managers to administer Wi-Fi and private  5G through a single pane of glass and bring to bear the power of AI-powered insights, workflow  automation, and robust security.  

HPE GreenLake, HPE’s edge-to-cloud platform, will offer Athonet private 5G offerings, combining all  costs for Wi-Fi and private 5G into one single monthly subscription with no capital expenditure. Flexible  consumption options, including HPE’s networking as a service, mean private 5G networks can be  deployed with reduced risk, little upfront investment and scaled according to demand. 

HPE portfolio integration and availability  

HPE will integrate Athonet’s solutions with its existing telco software assets and plans to make them  available to customers some time following the close of the transaction. HPE will also integrate the  solutions with the Aruba networking portfolio in the near future. The transaction is expected to close at  the beginning of the third quarter of HPE’s 2023 fiscal year, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.