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Nokia wins deal to supply private 5G at Volkswagen factory

Volkswagen sign.jpg

Nokia has deployed a private 5G standalone wireless network for Volkswagen at the car maker’s main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany.

The private campus network is designed to provide reliable, secure, real-time connectivity and enable Volkswagen to trial new smart factory use cases, said Nokia.

Chris Johnson, head of global enterprise business for Nokia, said: “By deploying private wireless to explore and develop its potential in manufacturing, Volkswagen underscores its leading position in leveraging digitalisation to enhance efficiency and productivity.”

Nokia said that the Wolfsburg network uses its Digital Automation Cloud solution “for reliable, private wireless connectivity”.

Johnson said: “We are delighted to support this effort with the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud and our extensive experience in private wireless networks.”

Klaus-Dieter Tuchs, of the network planning group at Volkswagen, said: “Predictable wireless performance and the real-time capabilities of 5G have great potential for smart factories in the not-so-distant future. With this pilot deployment, we are exploring the possibilities 5G has to offer and are building our expertise in operating and using 5G technology in an industrial context.”

Volkswagen said in October that this local 5G standalone network initially covers the main production development centre and the pilot hall.

The pilot project will test whether the 5G technology meets the demanding requirements of vehicle production with a view to developing this for industrial series production in the future, said the company.

“A dedicated 5G radio frequency will be used to safeguard secure, delay-free transmission of data.”

At the same time VW has set up a so-called “5G island” into operation at is factory in Dresden. Volkswagen said it will undertake “setup and operation of the 5G infrastructure itself in a move designed to build up competitive expertise in using this important technology of the future and ensure data security”.

In Wolfsburg, the private network is operating in the dedicated 3.7-3.8GHz band for local private wireless networks, allocated to the car maker by the regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA, Federal Network Agency).

In June 2021 the regulator granted 126 applications for the allocation of frequencies for local 5G networks and 123 assignments of frequencies for local 5G networks. Among the winners named at the time were Porsche, which owns VW, as well as Audi, BMW, Daimler and Mercedes-Benz .

Johnson said that Nokia has used private wireless technology in “over 380 large enterprise customer deployments, of which more than 75 incorporate 5G”.