Home5GNokia targets “explosive” Industry 4.0 sectors with new industrial 5G devices

Nokia targets “explosive” Industry 4.0 sectors with new industrial 5G devices

Private network vendor Nokia has bolstered its portfolio of industrial 5G devices with new ruggedised versions of its key 5G field-router and XR20 smartphone for the oil and gas sector. The new versions are designed for use in “hazardous, flammable, explosive, and dusty” environments, the Finnish firm said; both are certified accordingly for usage in oil and gas exploration and production by the relevant standards bodies.

The new devices go with an expanding range of industrial LTE and 5G devices from Nokia. It released two industrial 5G SA devices last month, including the original version of the newly-toughened field-router, plus a dongle for IoT connectivity, for use with the CBRS 3.5 GHz shared-access band and utility-geared 900 MHz spectrum in the US. These followed another glut of releases in May, mostly for hard-nosed Industry 4.0 disciplines.

The May delivery included an AI video camera for quick-time industrial analysis, a number of wearable cameras for site surveillance and staff comms, plus handheld remote speaker microphones and noise-cancelling and helmet-compatible headsets. Nokia had grown frustrated with a lack of industrial 5G devices in the market to populate newly-deployed private 5G networks, stemming from a void in the supply of industrial-grade 5G chips.

As such, the firm has effectively re-started as a devices brand, with a focus on the Industry 4.0 sector. It is targeting manufacturing, mining, and public safety as prime Industry 4.0 candidate venues for its new line of products. It is working with Finnish device maker HMD Global, which licences the Nokia brand for consumer handsets, to produce industrialised versions for its private networks.

The 5G field-router, for connecting legacy equipment and vehicles to private networks, and XR20 smartphone, which enables team/group push-to-talk/video comms, feature integrated enclosures and come with ATEX and IECEx certifications for “explosive atmospheres”. The “industrial edition” of the XR20 is also NEC500 and UL certified to meet global “protection requirements” – in oil and gas, plus chemical production, manufacturing, and other venues.

Nokia is bundling them for enterprises with its private LTE/5G system, called Digital Automation Cloud (DAC), newly-announced Connectivity Operations Dashboard for device management, and its edge platform, called Mission-Critical Industrial Edge (MXIE). It is promising “zero-touch onboarding” of its industrial smartphones, handhelds, and IoT devices.

Jaime Laguna, global head of oil and gas and mining at Nokia, said: “Nokia is committed to delivering end-to-end private wireless solutions for enterprises and allowing workers to communicate in the most intuitive, secure and safe ways, especially in demanding hazardous environments. We are pleased to enhance our portfolio of ruggedized devices to meet these specific industry demands for safe connectivity.”

Sebastian Ulrich, managing director for global enterprise business at HMD, said: “We are looking forward to working closely with Nokia to provide end to end solutions in demanding hazardous environments. The Nokia XR20 Industrial edition allows vital and secure communication for workers in these remote locations.”

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