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‘First private 5G industrial network’ is set up in Germany

03 January, 2020

Siemens and the communications specialist Qualcomm Technologies have implemented what they say is the first private 5G wireless standalone network in a real industrial environment using the 3.7–3.8GHz band. The network has been installed in Siemens’ automotive showroom and test centre in Nuremberg, Germany, where AGVs (automated guided vehicles) are developed and tested before being put into service at customer sites.

The facility will allow Siemens and Qualcomm to test various technologies in a standalone 5G network under real operating conditions, and to come up with ideas for future industrial applications. Siemens is supplying the control systems and IO devices for the trial, while Qualcomm is providing the 5G network and test equipment.

The German Federal Network Agency has reserved 100MHz of bandwidth from 3.7–3.8GHz for use on industrial sites. German companies can rent part of this bandwidth and use it for private 5G networks, while protecting their data. Siemens plans to use the facility to evaluate and test industrial protocols such as OPC UA and Profinet, together with 5G communications.

“Industrial 5G is the gateway to an all-encompassing, wireless network for production, maintenance, and logistics,” says Eckard Eberle, Siemens’ CEO of process automation. “High data rates, ultra-reliable transmission, and extremely low latencies will allow significant increases in efficiency and flexibility in industrial added value.”

Siemens and Qualcomm are testing 5G technologies in an industrial environment

He adds that the collaboration with Qualcomm will “drive forward the development and technical implementation of private 5G networks in the industrial sector… paving the way for wireless networks in the factory of the future.”

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