Bosch wants its own private 5G spectrum: regulator obliges
- German giant has applied for localised spectrum licenses in Germany
- Has well developed plans for the factory of the future
- Wants control over its radio network since that will enable a completely ‘mobile’ factory environment
More evidence of the apparent swing to private 5G licenses for companies rather opting in to operator services. This is something we’ve been tracking at TelecomTV for quite some time and it now appears to be gathering pace.
The latest sign is the move by German industrial giant, Bosch, which has announced that it has applied for localised spectrum licenses in Germany. Bosch says it plans to trial private 5G campus networks at least two sites and will deploy full 5G networks on its own spectrum during in 2020.
Bosch says it expects to partner with telecoms vendors and IoT and AI solutions specialists to meet its requirements and it believes that 5G private networks are a natural fit for big chunks of the economy, especially for large scale industrial concerns.
The recent decision by Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur - the regulatory authority - to allocate frequencies for private use has paved the way for Bosch to start to set up its own 5G networks and it has applied for 5G operating licenses for its lead plant in Stuttgard-Feuerbach and its research campus in Renningen. There is plenty of scope for expansion as Bosch has around 280 plants worldwide.
Bosch has a well developed vision for manufacturing - it envisages a factory of the future where only the outer shell of the building will be a permanent fixture. Everything else, from mobile robots, autonomous transportation vehicles, and various employee assistance systems, will be autonomous and independently movable, probably controlled via highly reliable, responsive and resilient high speed systems channeling data from the cloud.
Such a vision means that factory elements can not only be reconfigured and programmed on the fly, but they can be moved to new locations to continue work on another production process, inside yet another structure.
One attraction of the independent network approach is to rid the company of third party providers - this is in sharp contra-distinction to the direction of travel for much of the telecoms industry, which currently appears to be moving to greater sharing and reliance on third party providers.
But for Bosch the imperative is to get total control over their own wireless networks and therefore be better able to meet the very demanding requirements of industrial applications where downtime costs big money and data security is a vital requirement.
The Bundesnetzagentur has allocated spectrum from 3.7 GHz to 3.8 GHz with frequencies allocated on a 10 year license, according to demand, with preference going to to Industry 4.0 or agricultural and forestry applications.
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