Ericsson unveiled three initiatives under its "5G for Germany" programme, which places a strong focus on the industrial use cases for 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) and forms part of the company's "5G for Europe" programme announced in 2015.
The Sweden-based vendor opened a new centre in Aachen that is designed to enable the industrial and academic worlds to collaborate on trials of future potential use cases in the area of 5G.
Ericsson's 5G Proof of Concept Network is described as an open trial facility to enable early deployments of 5G technology. Examples of use cases to be trialled at the facility include adaptive smart grids, connected self-driving cars and industry factory automation.
In addition, Ericsson Garage is to serve as an incubator for new research and innovation in the areas of 5G and the IoT. Finally, Ericsson also said it plans to collaborate with the Aachen University of Technology (RWTH Aachen Campus) to conduct 5G trials that address industrial use cases.
Ericsson CTO Ulf Ewaldsson stressed that use cases for different industries will be extremely important for the success of 5G.
"Our collaboration with RWTH, one of the leading institutes in this area, is an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand experience and allows us to fine-tune 5G-based solutions," Ewaldsson said.
Indeed, Germany is taking a leading role in what it is calling Industry 4.0, a German concept that essentially refers to the transformation of industry through new technology and "digitisation".
Dieter Wegener from German industry bodies VDE/DKE explained at a Huawei event in Munich last year that the idea behind Industry 4.0 is to bring what is already happening in the consumer world to the industrial and business world -- that is, transforming products into services and making use of wireless sensors, cloud-based services and the IoT to "digitise the value chain".
Huawei also set out its own approach to Industry 4.0:
"Huawei's strategy for Industry 4.0 can be summarised as a 1-2-1 strategy," said William Xu, chief strategy marketing officer at the China-based vendor. "The first '1' refers to a single unified IoT platform. The '2' refers to two access modes--wired and wireless--via industrial switches, industrial Wi-Fi, or eLTE. The last '1' refers to LiteOS, Huawei's own IoT operating system."
- see this Ericsson release
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