Ericsson intros private 5G bundle to simplify telecoms for industry, industry for telecoms
Swedish vendor Ericsson has introduced a new plug-and-play style private 4G and 5G product for manufacturing, mining, and energy companies, alongside the ports, airports, and other industrial sectors. The solution for cloud-based private cellular management looks to simplify telecoms for industry and industry for telecoms.
Branded ‘Ericsson Private 5G’ – although 4G-LTE remains a key part of the proposition, and a stepping-stone technology for industrial 5G – the new industrial networking bundle promises “zero downtime upgrades, guaranteed high performance, and installation within hours”, the firm said.
It is unclear whether the new product replaces, or goes alongside, its existing Ericsson Industry Connect offer, a pre-packed private LTE and 5G bundle for factories and warehouses, announced two years ago, and being re-sold to enterprises by the likes of Telenor. The company, as is its wont, prioritised network operators as the primary conduit for the new enterprise solution in a press statement.
It presented the new product as means for the carrier set “to grow beyond mobile broadband”. It suggested the offer affords an easier sale for network operators and service providers pitching the Industry 4.0 dream.
A statement said: “The product… will support a range of deployment sizes, depending on requirements… Businesses can manage their networks and integrate with IT/OT systems via an open API…. [It enables] a variety of use cases for indoor and outdoor environments while integrating well with business operations, devices, and applications.”
On use cases, Ericsson cited asset tracking, real-time automation, digital twins, worker safety, and quality inspections; the last was mentioned in conjunction with augmented reality and drone applications.
Thomas Noren, head of dedicated networks and new businesses at Ericsson, commented: “We have taken the best of Ericsson’s current portfolio and topped it up with the best of our new technology. We have done this to give businesses what they need to improve productivity, enable new offerings, and give employees a better working environment. We are also giving operators a better way to serve business customers and leverage their assets – in short, to grow beyond mobile broadband.”
The solution has been developed, in part, through trial of private LTE and 5G setups with the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) in Germany. The Swedish vendor has combined with the institute on private cellular for Industry 4.0 since 2018, at least, when it announced work to explore and develop industrial 5G for production of components for jet engines.
Last year, the pair announced a 5G research network in Aachen, in Germany, to connect the Fraunhofer IPT with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering and the Institute for Industrial Management at RWTH Aachen University.
Niels König, coordinator the 5G-Industry Campus Europe at the Fraunhofer IPT, said: “Private 5G networks are highly attractive for producing companies because of the uncompromised performance that 5G can bring, allowing them to tackle the challenges of production. Efficiently deploying and using network solutions in enterprises requires simplicity in installation, flexibility in connecting to existing production IT and lean operations, while at the same time being able to scale the network to meet future challenges. Ericsson Private 5G delivers these capabilities.”