Nokia lines up private 5G test network for Chinese auto-maker FAW
Finnish vendor Nokia will build a private 5G test network for Chinese auto-maker FAW to spur digital transformation of its industrial machines and processes.
The pair have signed a “strategic” memorandum-of-understanding to carry out joint research into “smart connected cars, industrial IoT, smart manufacturing and digital transformation”, they said. The 5G network will be deployed at FAW’s campus in Changchun, capital of the Jilin province in northeast China.
Nokia will provide security, big data, augmented and virtual reality, and AI technologies alongside, to help the state-owned auto maker with smart-connected cars and autonomous driving. Nokia will also help with data centres, cloud, big data and 5G network slicing solutions, as well, it said.
It expects to deploy automated guided vehicles (AGVs), machine vision applications, and AI-enhanced quality inspection.
FAW (First Automobile Group) is one of the ‘big four’ Chinese automakers, alongside Changan Automobile, Dongfeng Motor Corporation, and SAIC Motor. It makes passenger cars, buses and coaches, and commercial trucks. FAW wants to lead in autonomous driving and smart manufacturing, as the Chinese automotive sector pivots towards electric and autonomous vehicles.
Xi Guohua, general manager at FAW Group, said: “We have much to learn from each other as we explore digital transformation of our operations and our products.”
Kathrin Buvac, chief strategy officer and president of Nokia’s enterprise division, said: “The is a great opportunity to use the Nokia 5G solution in the automotive sector, helping FAW to implement smart manufacturing, as well as R&D on connected cars and autonomous driving. We share their vision of how transportation is evolving and are excited to support their digital transformation.”
Finnish duo Nokia and Telia have been working with US chip-maker Intel to run a series of 5G smart factory tests in Finland using a trial 5G radio access network, operating in the 28 GHz frequency band.
Their tests have used a video application to monitor and analyse a process on an assembly line at a Nokia factory in Oulu, in Finland. 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.
Nokia is also building private LTE and 5G coverage for the ARENA2036 automotive research factory in Stuttgart, in Germany, in collaboration with members of the German car and manufacturing industries, including Daimler, Bosch and TRUMPF.
Nokia will provide full private 4G/LTE and 5G New Radio coverage for the factory, and help to validate industrial use cases. ARENA2036 said 5G is key for factory-based functions like robotics and automation, and higher flexibility of manufacturing setups.
Meanwhile, Nokia and indoor-telecoms provider Ukkoverkot are bringing private LTE to the Port of Kokkola in Finland. The Port of Kokkola is the third largest ‘general’ port in Finland. It is also the third Finnish port to appoint Nokia and Ukkoverkot to deploy a private LTE networking solution on site, after deals last month with the Port of Oulu late last year with the Port of HaminaKotka.
Nokia calculates there are around 10 million factories, globally, that are candidates for private cellular networks.