Traditionally, a universal subscriber identity module (USIM) and roaming agreement between the serving network (visited public land mobile network (PLMN) and home network (home PLMN)) is needed in order for the user equipment (UE) to gain access to normal services (i.e., data/voice) when roaming. This type of “control” has been a long tradition used within the mobile network operators (MNO) to control which roaming network that their subscribers are authorized to gain services using 3GPP radio access technologies (RAT). With the ongoing development of 5G private network in the 3GPP ecosystem, a new service paradigm with 5G standalone architecture (5G SA) and 3GPP RAT is being created. USIM (oreSIM) are no longer the only storage mechanism for credentials when using 3GPP RAT. Onboarding can be performed locally for non-initialized UE to access the network. UE credential storage at the network side can be separated from the network that is providing the access to the users. And overall, the 5G private network can take advantage of the native support for edge computing to allow service hosting environment to be locally deployed for services with ultra-low latency and better quality of experience (QoE).
This paper first describes in a high level on how a UE obtains services with the current 4G cellular networks to contrast with the new capabilities offered with 5G private networks (also known as Standalone non-public network (SNPN). These new capabilities defined by 3GPP 5G system architecture standards for SNPN set a course for a new service paradigm possibility for 5G private networks.