Neutral Hosting (NH)
Neutral Hosting (NH) is the hosting and management of a mobile network not tied to any one particular operator that enables the network infrastructure to be shared by multiple network operators.
The extent of the network provisioned in NH varies greatly under different visions of the concept. At one extreme it might simply be the civil infrastructure, power supply, computational and wired networking capability on which the mobile network elements rely. At the other extreme it might be the hosting, provisioning and running of the entire mobile network, including the network elements: Core, Base Stations (BSs) including Remote Radio Heads (RRHs) and Base-Band Units (BBUs).
Private Networks (PNs)
In a mobile communications context, a Private Network (PN) is simply a mobile communications network that is used for private communication purposes, typically localised and serving a very-specific use case (e.g., industrial communication in a factory). End-user access to the private network might typically be constrained to those individuals working within the particular scope and purpose that the PN is serving.
PN and NH can be seen as closely related. From a communications point of view, they both essentially involve the building-out of mobile network capabilities in an area or location. Moreover, especially in the context of 5G, the building out of a network for NH can serve the ability to deploy PNs with far more ease—through instantiation of “network slices” end-to-end in software. Such capabilities are covered in more detail in the discussion on network provisioning options later in this paper.