December 7, 2021
Volkswagen has enlisted a private 5G network at its biggest plant to handle next-wave connected technologies.
Deployed at the company’s main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, Nokia’s industrial-grade private 5G interface, pWireless, is part of a pilot program expected to help the facility achieve real-time connectivity for IoT sensors, connected vehicles and machinery.
Having dedicated 5G bandwidth is enabling Volkswagen to upload IoT data directly to vehicles as they are manufactured, and will also support intelligent networking of production robots and wireless assembly tools.
Stephane Daeuble, Nokia’s head of enterprise solutions marketing, said car manufacturing is key to growing its private 5G business amid escalating demand for low latency IoT use cases.
“Unless we can provide 5G technology today, they will not be able to build a factory based on 5G,” Daeuble told IoT World Today’s sister publication Light Reading in July 2020.
The company isn’t the only German automaker now factoring 5G into smart factory development.
Germany’s federal network agency had reportedly awarded more than 120 private 5G licenses as of June 2021, several of which went to car manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Daimler, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
“With this pilot deployment, we are exploring the possibilities 5G has to offer and are building our expertise in operating and using 5G in an industrial context,” said Klaus-Dieter Tuchs, a network planning engineer at Volkswagen.
Aside from auto production, Verizon’s German subsidiary has reportedly secured a private 5G license along with the specialist electronics equipment producer Rohde & Schwarz, industrial engineering conglomerate Thyssenkrupp and research institute Fraunhofer Institut fur Integrierte Schaltungen IIS.
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