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Nokia accelerates Industry 4.0 with Digital Automation Cloud additions, digitises 5G deployments

Telecoms equipment supplier extends platform capabilities complementing private wireless connectivity while simplifying deployment of 5G network infrastructure

In a major enhancement of its 5G assets and general offer, Nokia has announced new added-value features and digital automation enablers for its Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) private wireless networking platform and has digitised all its 5G network deployments around the world.

With a combination of wireless networking, cloud and edge computing, the company sees Nokia DAC as ideal for organisations eyeing use cases such as internet of things (IoT), analytics, automation and remote operations.

With the new functionality and added-value features, Nokia says it is further easing and accelerating customers’ transformation path towards Industry 4.0. Nokia DAC team comms and DAC VoIP offer customers voice and video for secure one-to-one and one-to-many campus-wide communication, it says.

Delivered over the platform’s scalable edge cloud, the on-premise applications are seen as ideal for asset-intensive locations of all sizes, such as ports, mines and factories.

Enabled by a cloud-native framework, the Nokia DAC application catalogue provides a “click and deploy” approach to software installation, deployment and application lifecycle management. The catalogue includes Nokia High Accuracy Positioning, Nokia SpaceTime scene analytics, newly launched Nokia DAC team comms and VoIP, plus a suite of industrial connectors. It also contains Microsoft Azure IoT Edge services, enabling deployment of Microsoft Azure IoT Edge modules, such as Modbus.

The Microsoft Azure IoT plug-in in the Nokia DAC catalogue follows a joint Microsoft and Nokia announcement to accelerate digital transformation and Industry 4.0. Microsoft Azure IoT services enable customers to address interconnected scenarios across multiple industries, including manufacturing, logistics, utilities, smart cities and transportation.

In terms of enhancing the DAC’s private 4.9G/LTE and 5G connectivity, the new features include an expanded portfolio of Nokia apps as well as a growing ecosystem of IoT modules and industry connectors essential to Industry 4.0 implementation. A suite of new Nokia DAC industrial connectors enables customers to use the platform to handle machine communication protocols such as Profinet, EtherCAT and Modbus and integrate private wireless and edge computing with existing and legacy systems, machines and infrastructure.

Caroline Chappell, research director, cloud and platform services at Analysys Mason, said: “Packaged solutions such as Nokia’s DAC platform will be key to unlocking the private network opportunity in the future. Enterprises require simple, easy-to-use and cost-effective private network solutions that integrate connectivity, cloud and vertical-specific applications.

“Increasingly, there is demand for solutions that resolve industry-specific challenges such as protocol translation. Platforms that support the pre-integration of multiple components address important concerns for enterprises looking to deploy a private network.”

Read more about Nokia 5G

Nokia recently announced the commercial availability of 5G SA private wireless, in addition to deployments with customers that include Lufthansa Technik, Toyota Production Engineering and Sandvik. And with regard to 5G, Nokia has now digitised all its 5G network deployments around the world.

Through the use of digitisation, machine learning and automation, Nokia claims to be simplifying the deployment of the network infrastructure to accelerate both operators’ time to market and return on their 5G investment.

The tech company believes traditional network deployments that rely on combinations of paper-based and digital documentation can often lead to errors and inefficiencies. With digital project orchestration and data inventories, Nokia is aiming to enable network roll-outs to be carried out swiftly and cost-effectively, matching the agility demands from customers and helping them to bring new services to market more quickly.

The company says it is confident that by completely digitising its 5G network deployments, it is enabling a simpler, faster, more efficient and higher-quality delivery of services. It calculates that such capability can lead to marked reductions in site visits (30%), as well as improvements in installation quality (30%), back-office transactions (30%) and cycle times (25%).

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