T-Mobile Poland has deployed a private 5G and 4G/LTE network for the company Astor, based in Krakow. The network covers a 2,000-square-meter area of a plant and a 300-square-meter innovation center there. Three sectoral antennas working on the 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands have been deployed. Base stations used in the project support both 5G and 4G/LTE services. Both technologies will be used in a showroom of a future factory by the consortium hub4industry, which was co-founded by T-Mobile Poland.
The network covers two locations, Astor Robotic Center and Astor Technology Park. Both are connected to the headquarters of Krakow Technology Park over a WAN with MPLS technology. The backbone network used for the project was deployed using the OMEC (Open Mobile Evolved Core) solution. The deployment of the private network was co-funded under a program administered by Poland’s Ministry of Development.
One of the issues with deployment of 5G is the shortfall of real-world access to speeds in relation to the potential of the technology. For example, a study in Germany just published indicates that 5G network speed in practice are usually the same as 4G/LTE speeds, and that truly high-speed data access is the exception rather than the rule. Congestion and incomplete rollouts are the likeliest culprits.
However, private networks custom-built by mobile operators and their technology partners for enterprise customers will not experience the same problems and likely are excellent showcases for the full potential of 5G connectivity. This example from Poland, in which T-Mobile deployed 5G networks for a factory and a technology innovation center, illustrates the possibilities.
In addition, not only does the private network bring in revenue for the operator, it also serves as advertising and promotion for T-Mobile by way of its role in the “future factory” showroom. That should be able to bring in future corporate customers for private network construction, and while government funding was key to this particular project, the market may mature to the point where many industrial companies will want to—and be able to—pay for similar deployments in the future.