Private standalone 5G network for an industrial application hints at what’s to come for the ports industry.
Siemens and Qualcomm Technologies have joined forces to set up a “proof of concept” test for a private 5G network using the 3.7-3.8 GHz band in an industrial environment.
Siemens is providing the test environment at its Automotive Showroom and Test Centre in Nuremberg, plus end devices such as Simatic control systems and IO devices. Qualcomm Technologies is supplying the 5G test network and the relevant test equipment.
Siemens uses the Nuremberg facility to develop and test new products for its automotive industry customers, which include AGV manufacturers. “The Automotive Showroom and Test Centre enables Siemens and Qualcomm Technologies to test all the different technologies in a standalone 5G network under actual operating conditions and to come up with solutions for the industrial applications of the future,” the companies stated.
“Industrial 5G is the gateway to an all-encompassing, wireless network for production, maintenance, and logistics. High data rates, ultra-reliable transmission, and extremely low latencies will allow significant increases in efficiency and flexibility in industrial added value,” said Eckard Eberle, CEO Process Automation at Siemens.
“This project will provide invaluable real-world learnings that both companies can apply to future deployments and marks an important key milestone as 5G moves into industrial automation,” said Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President & President, Qualcomm Europe Inc. “Combining our 5G connectivity capabilities with Siemens’ deep industry know-how will help us deploy technologies, refine solutions, and work to make the smart industrial future a reality.”
Siemens notes that the German Federal Network Agency has reserved a total bandwidth of 100 MHz from 3.7 GHz to 3.8 GHz for use on local industrial sites. “German companies are thus able to rent part of this bandwidth on an annual basis and to make exclusive use of it on their own operating sites in a private 5G network whilst also providing optimum data protection. Siemens is using this principle to evaluate and test industrial protocols such as OPC UA and Profinet in its Automotive Showroom and Test Center together with wireless communication via 5G,” the company said.
Siemens and Qualcomm Technologies have cooperated previously, including in the development of the Siemens Scalance portfolio for industrial wireless communication. The companies see testing their first standalone private 5G network in an industrial environment as an important step in developing solutions that industry will be able to use with the “up-and-coming Release 16 of the 5G standard”.