Power up Industry 4.0 with 5G standalone dedicated networks trial kits

Together, Industry 4.0 and 5G enable transformation in factories, warehouses, mining, ports and other industrial facilities with better wireless connectivity. Industries that get a jump on deploying 5G will also gain first-mover advantage.

Woman holding a tablet which is monitoring an industrial robot in the era of Industry 4.0 and 5G.
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The era of Industry 4.0 and 5G is here, and with it comes a new range of possibilities for factories, warehouses, mining, ports and more as it enables better connectivity for digital transformation. A recent report from ABI Research, commissioned by Ericsson, describes a potential gross margin boost of 5% to 13% over five years for factories and warehouses that move to dedicated (also referred to as private or non-public) cellular networks. So, industrial companies need to ask themselves if they can truly afford to remain on the sidelines and watch the competition advance down the field, or if they’re going to get ahead of it with early access to a 5G dedicated network.

The need for 5G dedicated networks

Although industrial Ethernet is the backbone of most factories and warehouses, wireless connectivity is gaining traction as dedicated cellular networks are providing greater mobility, reliability, and deterministic networking. Industry 4.0 and 5G will enable applications like condition-based monitoring, asset tracking, and mobile robots.

Dedicated cellular networks are well suited to meet a variety of needs for Industry 4.0. including reliable coverage, predictable connectivity, and mobility for enterprise Industry Internet of Things (IIoT) use cases. Dedicated cellular networks support high and low-data requirements, giving users full control and security of their data.

Currently, the use of dedicated LTE networks in factories and warehouses supports the deployment and connection of an increasing number of devices and applications with different bandwidth requirements. Dedicated LTE is a wise first step towards 5G, allowing enterprises to gather experience in managing cellular networks.

There are tremendous advantages for enterprises that deploy 5G technology by means of a dedicated cellular network to optimize their industrial sites. In smart factories alone, ABI Research estimates that over 4.3 billion wireless modules will be deployed to enable over $1 trillion USD in production value by 2030.

5G Standalone (SA) versus 5G Non-Standalone (NSA)

There are two architectures for 5G: standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA).

Currently, most commercial 5G deployments in public networks are based on 5G NSA technology which uses existing LTE radio access for signaling between devices and the network, and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) networks which are enhanced to support 5G NSA. This approach allows new 5G radio technology to be introduced quickly while maximizing the reuse of existing 4G networks.

However, this reliance on 4G is also an obstacle to unlocking 5G’s full potential. An enterprise that wants a 5G dedicated network to better enable a smart factory, warehouse or other industrial facility, does not want the 5G network to be dependent on an existing 4G network. 5G SA is the ultimate target architecture for 5G. It simplifies the radio network architecture and enables new features introduced with the 5G Core.

Staying ahead of the competition with 5G standalone

Industries that get a jump on deploying dedicated networks based on 5G standalone technology will also get ahead of their competitors with first-mover advantage.

To enable a smooth transition to 5G for industries, Ericsson provides dedicated network 5G SA trial kits. Early access to a 5G SA trial system will allow enterprises to gain a significant advantage over the competition. Learn more about Ericsson’s trial kits here and watch this demo video in which Antje Williams, SVP 5G Campus Networks, Deutsche Telekom and Joe Wilke, Head of Center of Excellence for Industry 4.0, Ericsson are presenting a demo of an AGV (autonomous guided vehicle) that is connected to the 5G standalone network in a production hall.

Ericsson and Industry 4.0

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