Europe may be lagging a bit in terms of commercial 5G deployments for consumer wireless networks compared to the United States and South Korea, but European wireless leaders are focused on 5G business applications for enterprises. Today, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson and Nokia all announced 5G initiatives for industry.
Deutsche Telekom (DT) said it’s focusing on 5G for smart factories, working not only with network supplier Ericsson, but also with new partners EK Automation, Konica Minolta and Endress+Hauser.
DT says the business models and technological requirements vary greatly from industry to industry. To meet these needs, it needs to integrate enterprises’ existing technologies into the 5G infrastructure.
For example, EK Automation, which manufactures automated guided vehicle systems, worked with DT to equip transport robots with 3D cameras. Technicians integrated 3D obstacle detection with dynamic route planning into the DT Edge Cloud. The transport robot sends the 3D camera images to the cloud for analysis almost in real time via the Deutsche Telekom 5G network. This enabled the vehicle to immediately avoid obstacles placed in the roadway.
Ericsson and Nokia
Nokia today opened a 5G Future X Lab at its headquarters in Espoo, Finland. Customers will be able to visit the lab to sample Nokia’s portfolio of 5G equipment, software and services. In addition, communications service providers and enterprises will be able to see Nokia technology at the lab with live hardware and software being used on a single network, managing individual network slices.
Marcus Weldon, Nokia’s CTO and president of Nokia Bell Labs, said in a statement: “The Future X Lab is an extensive build-out of a 5G end-to-end network, enabling customers to explore how a dynamically reconfigurable and automated network can increase network performance in areas of latency, capacity, reliability and security.”
The new facility in Finland is an extension of Nokia’s Future X Lab in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Weldon said, it “will enable us to better serve European customers and innovate with key industrial verticals.”
Finally, Ericsson today said it has opened a Center of Excellence at its Eurolab R&D site in Aachen, Germany, to strengthen 5G products and services.
Jan-Peter Meyer-Kahlen, head of the Ericsson Eurolab in Aachen, said the center “brings together all of Ericsson’s experience and expertise in the field of 5G-networked industry; This not only strengthens Germany as an industrial location, but also creates a starting point for the demands of surrounding European industry.”
Ericsson says the center will provide a place for industrial needs to be incorporated into product development, and it also offers operators based in western Europe an environment in which they can test demos and show them to customers.