Five key private 5G deployments (and their impacts) – in discrete manufacturing – RCR Wireless News

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Just to add to the mess of forecasts about private 5G; annual spending on private 5G networks will grow at a compound rate (CAGR) of about 42 percent between 2024 and 2027, accounting for nearly $3.5 billion by the end of 2027, according to new research from SNS Telecom & IT, based out of Dubai. The firm claims to have compiled a database of around 7,000 private cellular “engagements”, as of the second quarter of 2024, which includes more than 2,200 private 5G installations. 

The same firm said last summer (July 2023) that spending on private 5G and LTE (4G) networks will grow at 18 percent per annum between 2023 and 2026, finishing at about $6.4 billion by the end of 2026. Which means, if the year-ago forecast holds, that it reckons private 5G will comprise roughly 55 percent of revenue value in the 2026/27 timeframe. Other firms, including ABI Research and Berg Insight, think the 4G/5G tipping point for private network sales will come closer to the end of the decade, in volume terms, at least (see link above).

SNS Telecom & IT acknowledges private 5G uptake in vertical industries, notably in manufacturing, transport, and logistics as a given. But it also points to the transition to 5G from LTE, GSM-R, and other legacy tech in sub-1 GHz bands in the public safety, utilities and railway sectors for the steepening curve in private 5G adoption. It suggests the advent of Release 18 capabilities, defining the “first 5G Advanced specifications”, will add support for equipment to operate with less than 5 MHz of bandwidth in sub-500 MHz, 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 900 MHz bands.

But most interestingly and helpful – as with most SNS Telecom & IT summaries, it seems – is its snapshot of named private 5G deployments, many of which have been covered in these pages already, but many of which have not as well. “Some private 5G installations have progressed to a stage where practical and tangible benefits – particularly efficiency gains, cost savings, and worker safety – are becoming increasingly evident,” it writes, before reeling off a list of them, in no particular order. Here is a selection from the list, all themed around discrete manufacturing.

More coverage may follow of private 5G deployments in other Industry 4.0 sectors. All the text below is from SNS Telecom & IT. Its report is available here.

1 | Tesla, Germany 

Tesla’s private 5G implementation on the shop floor of its Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg plant in Brandenburg, Germany, has helped in overcoming up to 90 percent of the overcycle issues for a particular process in the factory’s GA (General Assembly) shop. The electric automaker is integrating private 5G network infrastructure to address high-impact use cases in production, intralogistics and quality operations across its global manufacturing facilities.

2 | John Deere, US 

John Deere is steadily progressing with its goal of reducing dependency on wired Ethernet connections from 70 percent to 10 percent over the next five years by deploying private 5G networks at its industrial facilities in the United States, South America and Europe. In a similar effort, automotive aluminum die-castings supplier IKD has replaced 6 miles of cables connecting 600 pieces of machinery with a private 5G network, thereby reducing cable maintenance costs to near zero and increasing the product yield rate by ten percent.

3 | Lufthansa Technik, Germany 

Lufthansa Technik’s 5G campus network at its Hamburg facility has removed the need for its civil aviation customers to physically attend servicing by providing reliable, high-resolution video access for virtual parts inspections and borescope examinations at both of its engine overhaul workshops. Previous attempts to implement virtual inspections using unlicensed Wi-Fi technology proved ineffective due to the presence of large metal structures.

4 | NEC, Japan

NEC Corporation has improved production efficiency by 30 percent through the introduction of a local 5G-enabled autonomous transport system for intralogistics at its new factory in Kakegawa (Shizuoka Prefecture), Japan. The manufacturing facility’s on-premise 5G network has also resulted in an elevated degree of freedom in terms of the factory floor layout, thereby allowing NEC to flexibly respond to changing customer needs, market demand fluctuations and production adjustments.

5 | Delta Electronics, Taiwan

Delta Electronics – which has installed private 5G networks for industrial wireless communications at its plants in Taiwan and Thailand – estimates that productivity per direct labor and output per square meter have increased by 69 percent and 75 percent respectively following the implementation of 5G-connected smart production lines.

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