Leading Taiwanese IT manufacturer Inventec recently announced that the company will implement private 5G networks provided by Affirmed Networks, a subsidiary of Microsoft, for its smart manufacturing, the Commercial Times reported on January 18. Under the deal, Affirmed Networks will supply 5G standalone networks to Inventec that allows the latter to connect multiple industrial automatic inspection machines for smart manufacturing. Microsoft acquired Affirmed Networks in March 2020 and completed the deal in April. Inventec is the supplier of commercial computers for HP, Toshiba, and Acer while retailing all-in-one terminals, Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, and Apple HomePod speakers. This tie-up demonstrates how private 5G networks will trigger the digital transformation for enterprises in the next decade as those enterprises can save up to 70% of the cost compared to traditional network solutions by adopting virtualized mobile networks. According to MIC (Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute), a division of III (Institute for Information Industry), a major government think tank, and leading IT research institute in Taiwan, global smart manufacturing market value is estimated to grow from US$202.9 billion in 2019 to US$468.3 billion in 2027, representing a 11% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate). MIC also predicts that hardware’s share in smart manufacturing will decline from 26.1% in 2019 to 20.3% in 2027.