Deutsche Telekom Offers 5G mmWave for Industrial Customers in Germany

Author photo: Chantal Polsonetti
ByChantal Polsonetti
Company and Product News

Leading telco provider Deutsche Telekom has successfully trialed 5G frequencies in the millimeter wave (mmWave) range at 26 gigahertz (GHz) for the first time with industrial use cases and is now offering them commercially to industrial customers. At the Ger4tech Mechatronik Center, autonomous industrial machines and robots were networked with a router in the 5G campus environment of the Werner-von-Siemens Centre for Industry and Science in Berlin. In addition to 5G standalone in the industrial spectrum at 3.7 Ghz, this router also supports the so-called mmWave spectrum for the first time. With low latency times of three to four milliseconds RTT (round trip time) and a data rate of over 4 gigabits per second in download and 2 gigabits in upload, the company sees potential for mmWave in data-intensive applications in the manufacturing industry. The 5G mmWave communications are enabled by Telit Cinterion.

Focus on Upload Instead of Download

5G mmWave

While customers are already deploying 5G campus network in mid-band for many industry applications, they can now leverage the potential by using 5G mmWave for additional applications. Machines collect countless terabytes of data, which can be uploaded to the cloud and analysed to enable a variety of new use cases - especially in the field of artificial intelligence. 5G mmWave is seen by the company as playing an increasingly important role in wireless communication technology and imaging, among others. 5G mmWave is characterized by short coverage range and high bandwidth and speeds. It has is being targeted for development within 5G campus networks and for applications in autonomous vehicles and the manufacturing industry.

The frequency spectrum around 26 GHz is allocated exclusively to interested parties in Germany by the Federal Network Agency. It can currently only be used for local applications.  

Autonomous Robots Test Case

The 5G standalone campus network of the Werner-von-Siemens Centre operates separately from Telekom's public mobile network. The entire infrastructure, from the antennas and active system technology to the core network, comes from Ericsson. Based on this network, a fleet of autonomously driving and operating robots works on various use cases at the center. The 5G standalone network is often sufficient to control the robots. The 5G millimetre waves come into play when the requirements for communication and data transmission increase and when solving more complex tasks. For example, in a computer vision application: the robot picks up an order and checks whether the ordered goods are complete on the way to the next destination. If there is a discrepancy, it immediately reorders the goods.

In addition to these, many other scenarios are mapped in the Werner-von-Siemens Centre. Here, industry, research institutions (including TU Berlin and Fraunhofer), small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups work on practical solutions for companies - including for autonomous production logistics and other challenges in industrial manufacturing.

Further information on private networks for industry is available here

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