Cellnex to install private 5G network for BASF’s facility in Spain
German chemicals company BASF and Spanish telecommunications infrastructure and services operator Cellnex Telecom have signed an agreement to install what Cellnex says will be the first private network based on 5G technology in the Spanish chemical industry.
The pilot project will also be one of the first in the Spanish industrial sector, Cellnex said.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cellnex will be responsible for installing and rolling out this 5G network in BASF’s production center in La Canonja, Tarragona, which will serve as a base for developing various use cases related to the industrial operations of the plant.
BASF has identified 5G technology as one of the key technologies for its digital transformation process. The chemical firm noted that this technology will pave the way to the Internet of Things (IoT), the implementation of big data, virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence. The Tarragona center will also become one of the first 5G projects launched by the German company globally. So far, BASF has launched similar private networks in facilities in Germany, Belgium and China.
Benjamin Hepfer, director of the BASF production center in Tarragona, said that this project represents a turning point for BASF’s production facility. “With 5G technology, we will make a leap forward that will allow us to advance exponentially towards a new way of operating. This is a pioneering project in the entire chemicals industry.”
To develop the 5G pilot, Cellnex will work with Spanish mobile operator Masmóvil for the temporary assignment of spectrum, with Nokia as a partner for the 5G network, and with Lenovo and Nearby Computing for the development of the Edge Computing solution that will allow autonomous computing of data on the premises.
Carles Navarro, General Manager at BASF Española and responsible for the Group’s activities in the Iberian Peninsula, also stated that 5G “will allow technologies like Big Data or artificial intelligence to develop a potential that we could only imagine until now. That is why we are installing 5G networks at BASF. This, along with our Quriosity supercomputer will allow us to develop solutions that we could not even imagine before now.”
“One of the key chemical industries in the country has entrusted the development of its private communications network to Cellnex. Thanks to our more than 20 years’ experience rolling out, operating and maintaining private networks for security and emergency bodies, and to the recent acquisition of Finnish company Edzcom, specialized in the development and implementation of private LTE networks that are key to the roll-out of 5G in critical business processes in industrial environments and complexes, we are working on the new generation of edge computing networks and connectivity solutions that will help to accelerate digitalization and the development of Industry 4.0,” said Albert Cuatrecasas, General Manager of Cellnex Spain.
BASF’s Tarragona facility is one of the company’s main production centers. Covering an area of over 100 hectares, it houses four production plants operated by BASF, a joint venture with SONATRACH and five plants of third-party companies.