Hot on the heels of announcing deals to provide 5G network technology for operators enabling business systems, Nokia has announced global commercial availability of new 5G standalone (SA) industrial-grade private wireless networking systems, which it says will offer a roadmap to fulfilling the needs of industrial and manufacturing use cases.
With the introduction of 5G SA, Nokia claimed it will be giving its customers the most comprehensive end-to-end portfolio of high-performance 4.9G/LTE and 5G private wireless networking in the marketplace. The first deployment of the new technology has been revealed to be at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.
Pablo Tomasi, principal analyst, private networks at analyst Omdia, said that by moving quickly with a 5G SA private network offering, Nokia has the opportunity to secure a pivotal role in driving the growth of the 5G ecosystem for enterprises.
“To be successful in industry verticals, such as transport and manufacturing, the cellular ecosystem must provide compelling offerings that address both current pain points and long-term disruptive trends,” he said. “The private networks market will be built on the trust and results delivered by private LTE. However, enterprises, vendors and service providers must now start to understand the real potential of 5G and how to incorporate it into their strategies.”
With a 3GPP R15 SA architecture providing the baseline for private 5G in industry, Nokia’s 5G SA private wireless has been designed to enable future industry-related features and improvements. These include ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC), time-sensitive networking (TSN), and many other industrial capabilities that will be delivered in future 5G 3GPP releases (R16-18).
Enterprise customers will have the choice of deploying Nokia Digital Automation Cloud or can further customise their network according to their needs with Nokia Modular Private Wireless.
Throughout the development of the new 5G SA private wireless technology, Nokia has conducted in-situ trials with customers and mobile operator partners since the first quarter of 2020, and claims to have more than 180 private wireless enterprise customers worldwide, of which more than 30 engagements are 5G. It also has 5G private wireless deployments that include Deutsche Bahn, Lufthansa Technik and Toyota Production Engineering.
Also, with its introduction of commercially available private wireless 5G SA, Nokia said it is enabling OEM and ecosystem partners to accelerate validation of 5G capabilities. This, it believes, will help kick-start the development of 5G-capable industrial assets, accelerate application development, and integrate 5G into future industrial processes and systems.
In addition to working with its private wireless network ecosystem – which includes service providers, cloud partners, systems integrators, strategic consulting and industry specialists – Nokia will also apply its vertical expertise to deliver 5G across industry-specific use cases.
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Raghav Sahgal, president of Nokia Enterprises, said: “As we work with our customers to help them leverage technology to digitise their operations, the introduction of 5G opens the door to new opportunities in robotics, remote and autonomous operations, full-fleet automation, analytics and enhanced safety. As such, it comprises a breakthrough in the digital transformation of mining.
“We recognise that 4.9G/LTE, which handles more than 85% of industrial applications, will continue to be the foremost private wireless solution for some time. With this announcement we bring the best of both worlds. We are offering customers the choice to start with 4.9G/LTE and evolve to 5G as the ecosystem matures, or alternatively, to go ‘direct to 5G’ – validating the technology and driving OEM and industrial asset vendors to develop a thriving 5G ecosystem.
“Private wireless connectivity is central to our customers realising their long-term digital transformation goals.”
Nokia said it wanted to address the needs of markets such as Germany, Japan and the UK which, because of local 5G spectrum availability, are fundamental to early adoption of 5G technology and its related ecosystem.
In its use of the new technology, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology will deploy a Nokia 5G SA private wireless network at its test mine in Tampere, Finland. “By deploying a Nokia 5G SA private wireless network with Nokia Digital Automation Cloud, we can showcase an entirely new range of game-changing capabilities here in our Tampere test mine,” said Patrick Murphy, president, rock drills and technologies at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.