Orange installs Private 4G/5G Network at Nokia factory in Poland
Orange Poland has announced that it has been selected as the partner in the creation of a private 4G and 5G network at Nokia’s factory and R&D facility at Bydgoszcz, Poland, which includes a factory and three R&D centers. Orange said the 5G private network will benefit from various innovations and edge computing applications.
The network will cover the entire 13,000 square metre facility, providing the location’s 6,000 employees with access to faster, more reliable communications. This, in turn, will enable numerous efficiency improvements within the factory itself, including facilitating automated guided vehicles to transport products internally, drones for surveillance and monitoring, and the widespread deployment of IoT devices. The network will also allow for greater reliability when it comes to inter-facility communications, including group push-to-talk and push-to-video applications. As a private network, it will not be incorporated with Orange Polska’s wider network.
“Private 5G networks are undoubtedly the future of an effective industry. I am glad that we can boast a unique experience on the Polish market, collected during the implementation of already operating implementations of this type, which pay off in subsequent projects, such as the one with Nokia,” said Julien Ducarroz, president of Orange Polska.
“It is a solution enabling the maximum adjustment of communication to the customer’s needs, safe and increasing the efficiency of processes.”
Orange has had a busy couple of months when it comes to 5G. Last month, the company launched its first 5G Lab in Antwerp, the Netherlands, a move that further expands the operator’s presence in the city. Orange has a well-established private 5G standalone network set up in Port of Antwerp, set up back in 2020, where they have been trialling a variety of 5G use cases. At around the same time, Orange was also launching their first Open RAN lab in Paris, with CTO Michael Trabbia notably arguing that interoperable RAN tech would be central to creating a stronger European vendor ecosystem and offering the continent greater technical sovereignty. Further 5G developments are going on in Orange’s other markets too. Just yesterday, Orange Spain announced a new 5G fixed wireless access trial in Galicia, as part of Orange’s wider commitment to the Spanish government’s National 5G plan.
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One of the findings of a new report from Light Reading sister company Omdia: 2022 Trends to Watch: Private Networks and the Shadow of 5G:
More than 90% of enterprises that are looking to deploy a private network in the next two years are considering 5G as the main technology for their deployments.
Pablo Tomasi, principal analyst of private networks in Omdia’s service provider enterprise and wholesale practice – and the report’s author – nonetheless warned CSPs it won’t all be plain sailing.
While the “hype of 5G” will get CSPs in the door with enterprises, he said, they’ve still got it all to prove in terms of delivery and meeting enterprises’ expectations.
“CSPs have many challenges that they need to face to make an impact in this market,” Tomasi told Light Reading. “Among others, they need to stop talking about 5G as the fix to solve all problems and start talking about addressing an enterprise pain-point with a solution based on whatever technology is more suitable.”
Tomasi emphasized that CSPs should be pragmatic in their technology recommendations, whether it be private LTE or private 5G, or even an alternative technology.
“They also need to accelerate their investment in their private networks teams and decide how they want to gain vertical expertise, which is essential for targeting vertical markets,” said Tomasi.
CSPs, he said, will have to weigh up the pros and cons of an in-house versus a partnership approach to build up private-network teams with the necessary know-how.
Although none of the enterprises currently surveyed by Omdia have deployed private networks to cover more than 10 sites, Tomasi thinks this will change in the next couple of years with 6% of enterprises aiming to deploy in more than 11 sites.
Enterprises currently prefer private network deployments that are fully dedicated, both in the RAN and the core, but Tomasi observes a “clear shift” in enterprises’ planning towards hybrid solutions involving a mixture of private and public networks.
“This plays directly into the hands of the CSPs that are increasingly deploying and expanding their private 5G networks,” said Tomasi, “but CSPs must ride this trend carefully as their first order of business is still gaining the trust of the enterprise and of the [wider] ecosystem.”
How successful CSPs might be in the private network space is not entirely in their own hands. Awarding highly localized spectrum to enterprises – a trend already seen in Germany – poses a “significant threat” to CSPs in Tomasi’s view.
“Spectrum liberalization is dangerous for [CSPs], because if providing spectrum to the enterprise works then regulators all over the world will be encouraged to continue this trend.” Tomasi told Light Reading.
“This will affect how much spectrum will be available for CSPs as well as the ability for other players, such as vendors and system integrators. to directly serve enterprises’ connectivity needs.”
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