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Toyota Taps Nokia For 5G-upgradable Private Network

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By Sean Kinney

Nokia’s latest private network win comes from Japanese automaker Toyota which selected the vendor to deploy a 5G-upgradable private network at its manufacturing design center in Fukuoka, Japan with an eye on support for internet of things devices, and “equipment digitization and visualization,” according to the companies.

Finnish giant Nokia has been aggressively moving in the private networks space with both 4G and 5G technologies as part of a larger strategy around Industry 4.0 enablement.

The Toyota network will initially support an advanced form of LTE–referred to by Nokia as 4.9G–and can be upgraded to 5G. For the purposes of manufacturing applications, the 3GPP is further iterating the 5G New Radio standard to better support ultra low latency, reliability and vertical-specific quality of service profiles.

Toyota’s Akihiro Onishi, an engineering fellow, said in a statement the company “conducts R&D on cutting-edge facilities and technologies, and is responsible for production preparation, facility development and design, and quality data management.” With private networking, “We will contribute to Toyota’s manufacturing through this new digital engineering technology.”

In a manufacturing design context, high-capacity, low-latency data capture can allow for digital visualization of production processes at the level of a single, sensor-equipped production implement, entire assembly lines and full manufacturing facilities. Near-real-time data visualization and analysis serves a variety of use cases ranging from predictive maintenance and process optimization to precision robotic control and autonomous guided vehicle support.

Nokia is providing the connectivity piece–base stations, radios and core network equipment– along with its Digital Automation Cloud for scalable operations and management. NS Solutions Corporation “will provide wireless area design, license application support, system construction, and on-going maintenance and operation,” according to a press release.

Nokia Japan’s Customer Team Head of Enterprise Donny Janssens said the private network will facilitate Toyota’s “next-generation manufacturing use cases that help accelerate its digital transformation, and realize its future automotive IoT vision.”

For more reading on Nokia’s private networking for industrial, check out the following:

LTE docks at Oulu, as Nokia and compatriots go mob-handed on private networks

Nokia counts 120 private LTE customers, widens spectrum support, intros new devices

Private networks, indoor positioning and analytics–Nokia’s recipe for industrial change

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