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Siemens and Qualcomm set up ‘first private standalone 5G network in an industrial environment’

Siemens and Qualcomm Technologies have implemented what they say is the first private 5G standalone network in a real industrial environment using the 3.7-3.8GHz band.

Siemens is providing the actual industrial test conditions and end devices such as Simatic control systems and IO devices and Qualcomm Technologies is supplying the 5G test network and the relevant test equipment.

The 5G network was installed in Siemens’ Automotive Showroom and Test Center in Nuremberg (main picture). Automated guided vehicles are displayed here which are primarily used in the automotive industry.

New manufacturing options and methods are also developed, tested and presented before they are put into action on customer sites. This allows Siemens’ customers, such as automated guided vehicle manufacturers, to see the products interact live.

The Automotive Showroom and Test Center 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.

Siemens provided the actual industrial setup including Simatic control systems and IO devices.

Eckard Eberle, CEO process automation at Siemens, says: “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.

“We are therefore extremely pleased to have this collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies so that we can drive forward the development and technical implementation of private 5G networks in the industrial sector.

“Our decades of experience in industrial communication and our industry expertise combined with Qualcomm Technologies’ know-how are paving the way for wireless networks in the factory of the future.”

Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm Europe, says: “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.

“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.”

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.

Siemens and Qualcomm Technologies have a longstanding collaboration focused on technological cooperation in wireless communication technologies.

Amongst other things, this has resulted in the development of the Siemens Scalance portfolio for industrial wireless communication.

With Qualcomm Technologies’ expertise in 5G technology, this collaboration continues to evolve seamlessly, leading to the first standalone private 5G network in an industrial environment.

This allows solutions to be tested and developed which industry will be able to use with the up-and-coming Release 16 of the 5G standard.

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