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Telia taps Ericsson to switch on private 5G network

Ericsson and Telia launch the Baltic region’s first enterprise 5G private network in Estonia to enable smart factory transformation

Ericsson and operator Telia are setting out to transform the manufacturing industry in the Baltics with the launch of the region’s first enterprise 5G private network, located at Ericsson’s Tallinn Supply Site.

The private cellular network went live on 2 May 2023 at Ericsson’s Supply Site in Tallinn, Estonia, ushering what the firm called “a new era of Industry 4.0” and driving efficiencies in productivity, agility and sustainability, and being the platform for innovation at the smart factory.

Ericsson began manufacturing in Estonia in 2009, with the Tallinn site currently employing smart manufacturing practices that use 5G technology to develop and produce 5G products and solutions for global distribution. The primary objective of this approach is to industrialise the Ericsson Radio Systems portfolio. Tallinn is responsible for developing and producing the latest and greatest products, which are delivered to customers worldwide.

The enhanced collaboration between Ericsson and Telia is expected to have a significant impact, both locally and globally, on the Tallinn supply site and in the contribution to Estonia’s export market.

Tallinn plays a strategic role in Ericsson’s global supply chain footprint, accounting for nearly half of the company’s new product introductions (NPIs). These involve research and development (R&D) to ensure product relevance, competitiveness and scalability, which are critical to the successful ramp-up of new products.

The implementation of Ericsson Private 5G is also intended to allow for dynamic new product development by enabling agile layout and design of the manufacturing facility.

Through its reliability, predictable latency, security and speed, the 5G private network solution will provide 4G and 5G connectivity through its single server dual mode core. Its capabilities are seen as an enabler for a variety of use cases such as asset condition monitoring and management, computer vision, digital twins, collaborative robotics, and new feature capabilities such as 5G precise indoor positioning.

Built for business operations, the solution comes pre-integrated to ensure rapid time to use and enabling advanced and intelligent operations in any environment. The product serves as a platform for innovation and Industry 4.0 allowing facilities to modernise ways of working.

The new network is said to have already started having an impact at the supply site, elevating business-critical operations through automation, safety and agility. A focus has been on enabling the monitoring and management of numerous devices in a defined area, providing better coverage with less infrastructure and ensuring seamless connectivity through a rapid increase in wireless sensors on the shop floor.

In particular, the implementation of Ericsson Private 5G throughout the factory is said to be reducing “dramatically” the dependency on wires to improve the agility of a production layout and design, while delivering greater mobility of impactful solutions such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

By deploying advanced 5G private network technology, Ericsson and Telia believe they have opportunities to test new use cases and accelerate industry-wide adoption. They added that implementing this technology in a real-world scenario provides valuable practical insights on how to best implement and utilise 5G private networks.

“In cooperation with Ericsson, we have always been the first to open new generation mobile networks in Estonia, from the very first 1G to the latest 5G generation. We are very happy that we can now jointly contribute to the establishment of the first 5G private network,” said Telia Estonia CTO Andre Visse.

“The close partnership between Telia and Ericsson has been working for decades and, in the process, different generations of mobile networks have emerged in Estonia. Thanks to this, we can show business customers what advantages and opportunities today’s technology can offer them to digitise their business processes even smarter, more efficiently and more securely.

“The introduction of new mobile communication technologies paves the way for Industry 4.0 solutions and helps us to create more environmentally friendly and sustainable future.”

Ericsson Estonia country manager Sirli Männiksaar added: “In today’s highly competitive manufacturing environment, keeping up with the latest technological capabilities is essential to stay ahead of the curve.

“Our 5G private network enables advanced use cases such as real-time video analytics, immersive technologies, digital twins, collaborative robotics and multiple mobile equipment tracking and control capabilities that empower our daily operations.

“As a leading adopter of advanced cellular technologies supporting Industry 4.0 implementations, Ericsson’s supply site in Tallinn is proud to play a key role in the industry’s continued growth and success, delivering new products and smart solutions to customers worldwide.”

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