Nokia turns to Orange for private wireless network in Poland

  • Nokia wanted a private 4G/5G network for its Bydgoszcz factory in Poland
  • It chose Orange Polska to be its partner
  • The network runs across three buildings
  • But it is not connected to Orange’s wide area network

Here’s an interesting private wireless network reference deployment – the location is Poland, and the enterprise user is Nokia, which has turned to Orange to be its service provider partner.

Nokia wanted a private 4G/5G network for its 13,000 metres square facility (factory, test and integration beds and R&D centre) spread across three buildings in Bydgoszcz, a city in northern Poland. 

The aim is to: Automate production processes; manage and monitor devices and vehicles in the factory and automatically transport products to a specific location; remotely operate a drone equipped with a video camera to monitor containers and large areas; provide group voice and video communication between factory employees (push to talk / push to video); and enable seamless data exchange between production lines equipped with industrial Internet of Things (IoT) devices. 

The vendor selected Orange Polska as its network partner, but of course is basing the network platform on its Nokia Digital Automation Cloud, “a private application platform that is capable of high throughput, low latency, and local edge processing,” notes Orange in its local language announcement about the deployment.  

The network is completely private – there is no integration with Orange Polska’s wide area network. “It is inaccessible to other, unauthorized users and allows you to quickly deploy and run new factory-specific applications,” notes Orange. “Such separation of services is possible thanks to dedicated SIM cards.”

The service is provided using spectrum in the 2600 MHz for which Orange Polska has a license.

For the full coverage of the facility, there are just seven access points. Here’s how Orange describes the set-up: 

“Each of the three buildings has two indoor base stations. There is also an outdoor station for coverage outside buildings. Thanks to this new network, it becomes much easier to automate production processes, manage and monitor AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) devices and vehicles located in the factory and handling the automatic transport of internal components and finished products and their very precise location with accuracy to 30cm... The private 5G network is also a research and development base for implementing production process optimization projects for industry 4.0.”

Piotr Binda, Customer Team Head, Europe East at Nokia, noted: “Nokia has extensive experience in creating private campus networks in 4G LTE and 5G technologies, and the solution that we have implemented together with Orange in our Bydgoszcz headquarters guarantees a very high level of security and flexibility of our activities. Together with our partner, Orange, we are opening a new stage in the development of our factory of the future, offering a better on-site experience and ensuring our efficiency and competitiveness.”

This isn’t the operator’s first involvement in private wireless networks: It has launched 5G campus networks in the Łódź Special Economic Zone and in the Miele factory in Ksawerów near Łódź.

That Orange Polska is winning private 4G/5G network deals will encourage other operators seeking to play a key role in what is a rapidly growing sector. (See Sizing the private 4G/5G opportunity is harder than it looks.)

The subject of private 5G networks, and the role that operators can play in their development and management, was one of the key topics discussed during the recent Great Telco Debate – check out the on-demand debate, including speakers from Colt, Vodafone Business and Cellnex, right here on TelecomTV

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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