Telia and Nokia to build industrial 5G ecosystem in northern Finland
Scandinavian operator Telia is to follow its early deployment of 5G in Helsinki, in Finland, by connecting the city of Oulu, in the north of the country, to 5G technologies to serve smart city and industrial applications. Finnish vendor Nokia is handling the network upgrade.
Notably, Telia said it will organise the Oritkari-Nuottasaari area in Oulu as”one of the world’s first industrial 5G environments”. Industrial companies and logistics operators in the area will be able to develop new business models and innovations as 5G becomes available in early 2019, it said.
The operator is already focused on establishing the region’s smart city credentials. Oulu is well primed; much of the innovation work by both Telia and Nokia has focused on Oulu, the most populous city in northern Finland, and a venue with a reputation as a ‘living lab’.
Janne Koistinen, 5G programme director at Telia Finland, commented: “We estimate the first applications of 5G can be found in an industry where automation, remote process management and versatile real-time data usage benefit from the minimal delay and top speed of 5G.
“Oulu’s strong ecosystem and the operators’ open-mindedness in the introduction of new technologies accelerated our decision to continue the deployment of 5G in Oulu.”
In addition to industrial processes, 5G is expected to bring significant opportunities for logistics through real-time monitoring and autonomous or remote-controlled vehicles, said Nokia.
Rauno Jokelainen, vice president of smart radio development within Nokia’s mobile networks divisions, commented: “Oulu is one of the key locations for research and development of Nokia 5G technology and mobile network products globally.
“The strong start-up culture of the Oulu region and close cooperation between the city, the university and the businesses in the region have enabled a unique ecosystem to be created in Oulu. Among other things, the ecosystem has built an open 5G test network, where companies in the area collaborate to generate new products and services.”
Telia opened a pre-commercial 5G network in Helsinki in early September. The network operates on test frequencies issued by the Finnish telecommunications authority.
Commercial activity will start at the beginning of 2019, when licences for new frequencies issued by the Finnish government will come into force. Telia won the 5G frequencies in the 3.5 GHz frequency range in a frequency auction, ended October 1.
Nokia took a €500 million loan from the European Investment Bank for 5G research and development in August, with a mission to boost the region’s drive for industrial and economic transformation, as US and Asian markets have pushed ahead.
Nokia told Enterprise IoT Insights 5G will shift the European economy up a gear. “5G will bring higher speeds, higher capacity, lower latency and greater reliability to applications dependent on connectivity. 5G is not just ‘the next G’, it’s a complete redesign of network architecture, with the flexibility and agility to support an array of future service opportunities,” said a spokesperson.
Nokia and Telia combined with US chip-maker Intel in April to run a series of 5G smart factory tests in Oulu using a trial 5G radio access network, operating in the 28 GHz frequency band.
The video application used machine learning to alert the assembly line operator of inconsistencies in the process, so they could be promptly corrected. A second trial showed data from the site could be rendered and accessed in real-time at Telia’s data centre in Helsinki, 600km away from the assembly line at the Oulu plant.
This week, Nokia announced work with ABB and Kalmar in Finland on industrial trials with 5G technology to support time-critical applications in smart grid and harbour automation scenarios. The involved companies said ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC) has been identified as one of the three main use cases for 5G due to its ability to transmit data, within a few milliseconds or less, with high reliability.