High demand for industrial 5G campus networks

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One year after the conditions for awarding contracts for local industrial and agricultural mobile radio networks came into force, almost 90 applications have already been received by the Federal Network Agency.

While commercial 5G technology is already available to end customers, industrial 5G is still in the standardization phase and is being brought to market maturity in automation technology.

New fields of application through 5G campus networks
"Industrial 5G campus networks develop completely new fields of application with automation technology, for example in flexible, networked production or the monitoring of systems. For the electrical industry, these diverse fields of application are future-proof," says Herbert Wegmann, General Manager Digital Connectivity and Power at Siemens AG, Digital Industries, Process Automation and Chairman of the ZVEI Steering Committee for Industrial Communication.
Industrial 5G campus networks in the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz frequency range are currently being tested at over 85 locations in Germany. This shows the great potential and underlines the opportunity to develop Germany into a lead market and leading provider for industrial mobile radio-based applications.

Reduction of development costs
"In mechanical and plant engineering, 5G campus networks in combination with an edge cloud are an important building block for new technical solutions for mobile and stationary machines. The high security and low latency of 5G campus networks combined with the scalability of computing power in the cloud drastically reduces development efforts. Especially real-time applications or other very computationally intensive systems, such as image processing or AI algorithms, benefit from this," affirms Ansgar Bergmann, Technology & Innovation - CTR, Project Manager CTO, KION Group/Still GmbH and member of the VDMA 5G User Group.

"In mechanical and plant engineering, 5G campus networks in combination with an edge cloud are an important component for new technical solutions for mobile and stationary machines.

5G as a prerequisite for digital transformation
Martin Schwibach, Industrial Connectivity & Industrial Mobility at BASF SE and committee member in the VCI for digitization, sees 5G campus networks as an important prerequisite for driving forward the digital transformation in the chemical industry: "Together with various suppliers, we are currently setting up a test environment in the production environment to pilot 5G in various application areas. The entire process industry is breaking new ground with 5G. Close cooperation with partners is therefore particularly important in order to learn continuously from each other. This will enable us to fully exploit the potential of the technology in the future."

New forms offlexibility
Local campus networks enable companies to have complete control over their own data, customized coverage of company premises and network implementation independent of existing networks (such as WLAN). This opens up an enormous potential for technological development and innovation in Germany. The basis for the realization of Vision Industrie 4.0 is thus created. "For companies in the automotive industry, 5G campus networks make it possible to network facilities and systems in production and thus create a new, very efficient form of flexibilization," said Dr. Joachim Damasky, Managing Director of the VDA.
Companies have the option of building and operating their 5G mobile networks themselves or having them planned and operated by public network operators and the network equipment industry. From the point of view of the industry associations VCI, VDA, VDMA and ZVEI, this competition in the field of 5G networks is an important step for the successful establishment of 5G technology in Germany.