Nokia deploys 5G private networking across five German research centres

Finnish comms tech giant continues roll-out of standalone private 5G network for large-scale implementation across renowned German research institutes

Nokia is to deploy an industrial-grade extension of its 5G standalone (SA) private wireless networking as part of Germany’s 5G4KMU project.

5G4KMU is the result of co-operation across a number of leading research institutes, aiming to take advantage of their expertise across manufacturing, automation, industrial engineering, healthcare and Industry 4.0. On completion, 5G4KMU is on course to comprise the largest 5G campus-based networking deployment in German research and academia, spanning five leading research centres in the state of Baden-Württemberg. It is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics, Labour and Housing.

Project partners include: Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart and its Project Group for Automation in Medicine and Biotechnology PAMB, Mannheim; Reutlingen Industry 4.0 Centre, Reutlingen; wbk Institute of Production Science, Karlsruhe; and Campus Schwarzwald Centre for Digitisation, Leadership and Sustainability, Freudenstadt.

“As we introduce 5G to companies for the first time, it’s essential that we make the technology easy to use and accessible,” said Matthias Schneider, project manager for 5G4KMU. “By combining high-performance wireless networking with local cloud edge computing, enterprises have an ideal platform to develop use cases in fields such as IoT [internet of things], analytics, automation and remote operations.”

Designed to support 5G4KMU in its mission to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an expert introduction to 5G, the private wireless networks will be used to help companies develop new 5G-based products, applications and business models.

The networks will be based on the recently announced Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) 5G SA platform, which is claimed to offer reliable high-bandwidth, low-latency private networking, local edge computing capabilities, and a catalogue with applications. It is an industrial-grade, compact, plug-and-play platform, comprising network equipment and a cloud-based operation monitoring system.

Systems will be deployed in partnership with Smart Mobile Labs – the largest 5G system integrator in Germany, which supplied the first 5G campus networks to many customers in 2020 – which will provide deployment and integration services to deliver the Nokia DAC technology.

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Nokia recently announced 5G private wireless deployments that include Deutsche Bahn, Lufthansa Technik and Toyota Production Engineering and Raghav Sahgal, president of Nokia Enterprise, said he saw the 5G4KMU project as a great example of the impetus that 5G can give SMEs as they make their transformation to Industry 4.0.

“Thanks to 5G spectrum availability, local expertise and a strong partner ecosystem, Germany is championing the 5G private wireless market – and this ambitious multi-site deployment puts 5G4KMU at the forefront of that momentum,” he said.

News of the 5G4KMU deployment came just as Nokia announced that it had extended its agreement with AT&T to support global enterprise customers with IoT connectivity using its WING solution and IoT ecosystem. AT&T’s enterprise customers will now be able to connect and manage a multitude of IoT devices on their networks, leveraging Nokia WING’s capabilities, including increased performance and flexibility, and lower latency.

In October 2020, the communications giant added Nokia’s end-to-end industrial-grade capabilities to its Private Cellular Networks so that the company’s on-premise edge portfolio, which already includes 5G-capable multi-access edge computing, could be expanded to offer additional private cellular systems to meet Industry 4.0 needs, among other capabilities.

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