Elisa and Ericsson to offer private LTE for industrial and emergency services
Finnish operator Elisa is offering enterprise customers and public safety agencies a private LTE solution, after trials with Swedish vendor Ericsson during the first half of the year.
Ericsson said the offer will enable Elisa’s enterprise customers to “gain control” of users, devices and traffic on localised private cellular networks. It is understood the setup utilises spectrum Elisa has already licensed in Finland, rather than license-free shared spectrum, as per private deployments variously using sundry 3.5-4.2 GHz and 5GHz bands.
The pilot tests were conducted at Elisa’s facilities during the first of half of 2019 using a prepackaged Ericsson private network solution, including core and radio infrastructure, plus gateway devices. They are intended to give enterprises full and bespoke reign over expanding IoT footprints, connecting sensors, machines, vehicles, and hand-held devices.
Eetu Prieur, director of mobile solutions at Elisa, commented: ”Private networks are expected to spread throughout different industries. Forerunner companies have already identified the benefits of private networks: guaranteed capacity, reliability and security.”
Manuel Ruiz, head of mission critical and private networks at Ericsson, said: “Our private networks solution comes at a time when capacity, security, and other critical communication needs are prompting industries to seek out their own private networks. With their own dedicated networks for enterprises, Elisa will be able to better adapt their service to specific industrial customer needs.”
The model is akin to Deutsche Telekom’s dual-slice ‘campus network’ deployments, which combines the “public LTE network in the wider area of activity with a private LTE network layer in the campus area”, according to Deutsche Telekom.
“The dual-slice approach uses the same infrastructure on the radio side, but adds a mini-core network box on the core side, just for the traffic on campus in the private layer. The concept can be considered as a kind of proto-slicing, or early form of network slicing, that will pave the way for more advanced slicing solutions in 5G,” Antje Williams, senior vice president of 5G campus networks, Deutsche Telekom, told Enterprise IoT Insights.
Ericsson appears to be carrything-through with its promise to fall in line with operators for rollout of private networks, as new private LTE and 5G slicing projects have also emerged in the automotive manufacturing space with Vodafone and Telefónica.
It is working with both Telefónica Germany to enable 5G car production via a private 5G network for Mercedes-Benz at the company’s Sindelfingen plant in southern Germany. It is also working with Vodafone in Germany to upgrade a private LTE network, already working as a blueprint for Industry 4.0, to 5G for German electric vehicle maker e.GO.
Ericsson is also working with Deutsche Telekom to provide a dedicated LTE campus network for German lighting manufacturer OSRAM, which is testing new production processes at its Schwabmünchen site, in Munich. OSRAM and Deutsche Telekom are prototyping and testing a mobile robotics solution, and automated guided vehicles to transport goods across the shop floor.
Erik Ekudden, senior vice president and group chief technology officer at Ericsson said: “The cooperationis a great opportunity for us to explore the industry requirements on future technologies. These kinds of collaborations will help us in our product development towards 5G in the context of Industry 4.0.”
Jinsung Choi, senior vice president for research and technology innovation at Deutsche Telekom, commented: “In line with Industry 4.0 requirements, our customers want extremely reliable and high-performance network solutions tailored to their specific demands.”