Telefonica Germany said that it is cooperating with Mercedes-Benz, in partnership with Ericsson, to put in place a 5G mobile network for the production of vehicles at the automaker’s Factory 56 plant in Sindelfingen, Germany. Telefonica and Ericsson will install the network, which will be operated by Mercedes-Benz, for a production space of more than 20,000 square meters.
The 5G network will be used at first for running production, the companies said in a statement. Factory 56 has been equipped with several 5G small-cell indoor antennas and a central 5G hub. The network will allow Mercedes-Benz to optimize existing production processes in its plant, supporting quick processing of large amounts of data.
As we have written on a number of occasions recently, the Internet of Things, broadly understood, is a major growth area for mobile operators. The requirements of IoT applications can be fulfilled by low-power and low bandwidth solutions, but the more advanced industrial applications may demand the most sophisticated services that mobile networks can offer. In this regard, IoT can be a highly competitive, cutting-edge and lucrative field for MNOs.
Partnering with a technology developer of the caliber of Ericsson to provide the connectivity to control a highly sophisticated industrial manufacturing process such as a Mercedes-Benz auto factory is exactly the type of endeavor we are referring to. At a time of shrinking revenues from traditional telephony and even internet service, this is just the kind of new application of mobile networks that operators need to pursue. A deal with an industrial giant to provide connectivity for a major manufacturing process will go a long way to ensure continuing relevance and prosperity for a mobile operator in the coming 5G era.